Michele Masterson

Poor Voice Quality In Call Centers Costing Organizations Billions Globally

According to a recent study, seventy-nine percent of consumers have experienced poor voice quality revealing that poor voice quality that drives down sales volumes, increases call lengths and the number of calls that are forced to be redialed. As a result, churn rates can increase for both customers and staff.

The survey was undertaken by the Customer Experience Foundation on behalf of Empirix Inc., a provider of service quality assurance solutions for IP communications. The study asked 3,925 consumers about their experiences in dealing with contact centers and identified technology related trends and common problems that are affecting customer service and costing organizations around the world billions of dollars.

“The word most associated in the study by consumers with poor voice quality was stress, which is not a word organizations want associated with their customers’ experiences,” said Tim Moynihan, vice president, marketing Enterprise Solutions, Empirix. “Nearly half of the consumers who commented also felt that poor voice quality was a sign that companies really didn’t value their business, at a time where ensuring customer loyalty is more important than ever in any industry. When you analyze the problems with the core issue of poor voice quality, it equates to costing the industry billions of dollars—directly impacting the bottom line of organizations across the globe. Understanding that poor voice quality negatively impacts the bottom line of organizations across the globe, Empirix has always been committed to providing enterprise solutions that guarantee the highest possible quality.”

Other key survey findings include:
• Forty two percent of call center calls are impacted by poor voice quality.
• Thirty percent of consumers who experienced poor voice quality said that it happened in more than half of their calls, with 68 percent of those saying that they would usually hang up as a result, and if they were calling about a new product or service would call a competing company instead.
• Twenty-six percent of consumers say they need to redial to complete a transaction.
• Only one in six companies said that they used specialist tools to manage voice quality, meaning that 72 percent of the businesses polled said they had frequent voice quality issues for which they could not identify the root causes.
• Stress is the most commonly used word when consumers were asked to explain how they felt after a poor voice quality call was completed.

“Consumers are quickly losing patience with companies that suffer from poor voice quality; the truth is it’s a consumer’s market, they have choices in today’s market,” said professor Morris Pentel, chairman at Customer Experience Foundation. “Consumers are having major issues that they will not tolerate, which has obvious ramifications for businesses. Customer and agent churn will increase if they are unable to communicate with each other, not to mention that the loss of new business opportunities such as upsells or new products and offerings. Organizations with a reputation for poor customer service are simply pushing their customers towards their competitors which impacts market share and the bottom line.”

Poor voice quality has a number of root causes, such as background noise, poor headsets, loose connections, bad home voice over Internet protocol, use of services such as Skype, poor transit by carriers and bad mobile phone connections and handsets. The survey culled their finding from more than 5,140 responses online and by telephone in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany.

Source: Empirix Inc.