Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sep 29

Businesspeople lack interpersonal skills, research shows

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

New research reveals that many employees struggle with ‘soft skills’

80% of people no longer have the necessary soft skills for business life, new research from has revealed. This can prove to be a real issue when it comes to customer service, with many employees struggling with business telephone use.

Chief executive officer of alldayPA Reuben Singh revealed that almost 100% of candidates interviewed by his organisation have all the necessary technical and computer skills, however very few meet the standard expected when it comes to interpersonal skills such as verbal communication, listening and empathy.

Only one in five make the cut

The company has interviewed 1,000 applicants over the past year, and shockingly found that only one in five candidates demonstrated the necessary soft skills.

Singh, said: “We have been in business for over 16 years and in that time, people are getting better at typing, technical skills and reading information, but softer skills have gone into sharp decline.

“We are seeing the first generation that has grown up with automation entering the workplace. They shop online, talk to friends through social media and even play online games in their leisure time – and crucially, as a result, have less experience of verbal communication, and are instead becoming overly reliant on digital communications. This generation isn’t exposed to enough positive examples of good customer service either face-to-face or over the telephone.”

Singh noted that the situation is particularly severe over the telephone, where a higher level of communication is required. In this day and age business calls are most often used only in more complex situations, with the majority of simple customer interactions taking place via email, websites or social media.

70% of customers use the telephone to make a complaint

However, when it comes to making a complaint or resolving a problem, 70% of customers will pick up the phone and dial a contact number. In these situations it is imperative that employees listen effectively, get into the heart of the matter and really empathise with how the customer is feeling.

Singh believes that the real loser in this situation is the customer, and that the issue is going to get worse before it improves.

He said: ““A study by Oxford University suggests that 91% of customer service workers will be replaced by automation in the next 20 years.

“We are in danger of trying to use artificial intelligence when what customers really want is emotional intelligence offered by a real person that can offer both sympathy and support.

“More value needs to be placed on these softer skills, both in education and in business. Failure to do so will see a continued decline in levels of customer satisfaction and worsening customer service.”

When making a call to a business, having to sit listening to the phone ring out or being passed from operator to operator immediately gives a customer a negative first impression.

Let eCall make the best first impression

Taking on a business telephone system from eCall is the perfect way to give a professional first impression to your customers. Our wide range of multi-line phone systems will allow you to effectively manage all of your inbound calls, ensuring that your callers always reach their intended destination.

By combining telephone systems from eCall with one of our non-geographic numbers, you’ll be taking on a feature-packed, disaster-proof telecoms solution and what’s more, you’ll never miss a call.

Poor customer service is one of the biggest put-offs for telephone callers, so don’t let your telephone system let you down.

Sep 15

BT, TalkTalk & Vodafone rate ‘poor’ for customer service

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

‘Which’ survey highlights poor BT, TalkTalk & Vodafone customer service

A recent survey conducted by ‘Which’ asked around 3,500 customers what their biggest annoyances were when contacting the customer service departments of 100 of the UK’s largest brands.

Some of the main bugbears included not being able to access UK-based call centres and automated lines. As ‘Which’ executive director Richard Lloyd comments,

“Call centres and telephone systems are the biggest customer service gripes by far. Firms need to up their game, those that don’t give customers the care and attention they deserve risk losing out to their competitors.”

Statistics are clear to see

From the 3,500 people asked a massive 46% said that they were irritated by call centres not being UK-based. In addition, 36% did NOT like automated telephone systems. What is more, when it came to being passed around from person-to-person, around 32% were dissatisfied.

Poorest performers

Surprisingly some of the companies to rank worst for customer service were high-profile telecom brands including BT, Talk Talk and Vodafone. In fact, their statistics did not shine a positive light on them at all.

The highest rate names included the cosmetic firm ‘Lush’ with a phenomenal 89% followed closely by online bank ‘First Direct’ with 86%.

Shockingly BT only received 63%, Talk Talk rated with only 64% and Vodafone came in at just 66%.

Improving your business’ communication

Obviously, excellent customer service matters, whatever business you are in. Thankfully there are ways in which you can keep your customers happy, especially contacting you via telephone. One simple way to automatically instil confidence into your customers is to adhere to the recent introduced legislation by Ofcom.

If you are not already aware, on 1st July 2015 Ofcom introduced legislation designed to give callers greater clarity regarding the cost of calls.

From 1st July call costs must be clearly stated on all corporate material featuring a service number such as 0843. Call charges are calculated by:

Access Charge + Service Charge = Total Call Cost

The ‘service charge’ is the element established by the company advertising the contact number. Ofcom legislation states that when you see the number advertised, you should also find the ‘service charge’.

The result

These recent changes can instantly give callers peace of mind of knowing how much their call is likely to cost. Therefore, reducing that fear of expensive calls to customer service centres not based in the UK.

But that’s not all…

The great thing is that (depending on your provider) you can actually offer callers a far improved customer experience through a variety of supporting telecom services. Take call re-routing for example, which means your callers will always be directed to the nearest possible member of staff in the most efficient way. No more extended waiting times, no more customer frustration.

If you would like more information regarding the easy installation of an 0843 or wish to pick your 0843 today – just click or call 0800 161 5552.