Telecoms industry poor performer when it comes to customer service

According to The Institute of Customer Service, the telecoms industry is one of the worst performing sectors in terms of looking after its customers.

The telecoms giants handle data on a large scale across multiple departments and locations. Inconsistencies can occur when tracking customer records and business actions and this causes problems when trying to provide customers with the service they demand.

A recent report by Ofcom, provides further insight into how well telecoms providers are looking after their customers, revealing their many shortcomings in this area.

The report concludes the telecoms industry needs to improve on customer service, particularly when it comes to the quality and speed of service and how well they deal with customer calls and complaints.

Almost half of broadband and mobile customers (44% and 43% respectively) are not satisfied with complaint handling, with Sky doing best at 39% and TalkTalk the worst at 49%.

In terms of broadband problems, 16% of both Virgin Media and TalkTalk customers had a reason to complain in 2016 (16%), while in the mobile industry, Vodafone received the highest proportion of complaints at 7%.

Waiting to have your calls answered was an issue for Plusnet’s landline and broadband customers, who had to wait the longest (seven minutes and 27 seconds on average), resulting in 21% hanging up before getting through.

Reliability and performance continue to be issues for broadband customers and Ofcom claims the speeds are inconsistent, varying throughout the day.

The communications watchdog hopes this report, along with its new quality comparison tool, will help inform consumers about the way major telecoms providers serve their customers, as well as incentivising those providers to improve upon their service.

Sharon White, Ofcom’s CEO, says: “We’re determined to help bring about a service revolution in the telecoms sector, where consistency and excellence becomes the norm, and customers always come first.

“Today we want to shine a light on how different providers perform, and are challenging the industry to up its game on customer service. We’ll be monitoring closely to ensure industry service standards are raised.”

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