More than three-quarters of Midlanders will never buy from a company again if their first phone call is not handled satisfactorily, research has revealed. This result puts them among the least tolerant in Britain, behind only people from Wales and the South East, while closely followed by East Anglians.
The study of 1,000 consumers, conducted by audio branding specialist PH Media Group, discovered people in the North West are most tolerant, with 66 per cent unwilling to provide repeat business to companies who do not answer their first call satisfactorily.
"The research results provide a clear message to companies in the Midlands - a failure to handle all customer calls to a high standard will result in lost business," said Mark Williamson (pictured), sales director at PH Media Group, the world’s largest provider of audio branding services.
"Clearly first impressions count, so businesses cannot afford to let standards drop for a single call or else they risk creating lasting negative perceptions that will impact upon profitability. Best practice in call handling must apply to all facets of the experience if it is to be effective. This means scrutinising the way calls are answered, the phone manner of customer service advisors and the sounds heard while on hold, including music and voice,” he added.
The research also discovered Britain's older generations are particularly intolerant.
Nine in ten 55 to 64-year-olds claim they would not do business with a company again if their first phone call was handled badly, while the figure was 75 per cent among 35 to 54-year-olds. The figure drops to 64 per cent for 16 to 24-year-olds and 62 per cent for 25 to 34-year-olds.
"Even in demographics where tolerance is higher, almost two-thirds of people will still not buy from a company that handles their first call badly," said Mark.
"The onus is on businesses to provide staff with proper training on appropriate phone manner and to implement brand congruent audio branding, which ensures all the sounds heard by customers over the phone reinforce desired brand image and professionalism."