People in Southampton Won’t Wait a Minute on Hold

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Filed under - Contact Centre News,

A recent survey has show people in Southampton won’t even wait one minute when on hold for a call.

People under 30 years old were three times as likely to want to use a chatbot or messaging service to communicate with a company but would use the phone if they had no other choice. Over 30-year-olds said that they preferred to speak by phone.

For those under 30 years old, four rings was the limit of their patience before hanging up, while those over 30 showed more patience by saying they would hold out to around six rings before giving up.

When asked if the number was the same regardless of them calling a business or a friend/relative, the majority across all age groups stated that it made no difference, though less than one-third said that they would give a close relative a few more rings.

Various surveys over the past few years have shown that the average waiting time for a person is between two minutes and 35 minutes, depending on the industry.

The findings also come not long after The Institute of Customer Service’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index analysed customer satisfaction metrics across 281 companies in the UK and revealed that consumer satisfaction has plunged to an eight-year low.

Unanswered Calls Lead to Issues and Problems

When Southampton respondents were asked how they resolved issues if companies didn’t answer the phone, they stated that they would try alternative methods like email or call back if they had to – as a last resort.

For those who called back, they would then stay on hold ‘as long as it took’ for the issue to be resolved.

Just under 20% said that they had forgotten to resolve the issue that required the call until it became a major problem for them.

Examples given included trying to resolve tax issues, bank issues, make medical appointments or lost passports.

Gemma Dare, Marketing Events Manager from Southampton, said: “Being on hold or waiting for a call to be answered wastes precious time that I don’t have, especially as a working single mum, that’s why I give it a few rings and then I hang up.

What’s even more frustrating is that this is a one-sided thing. I very much doubt that a company would be understanding if I put them on hold for long periods of time, because it would impact their key performance indicators.”

However, in what may be seen as less depressing news for companies, only 28% said that the experience or experiences of being on hold or not having their call answered would make them swap to another business or provider of a similar service. In some cases, respondents said this was because “there was no option to switch”.

Poor Experience – For Staff and Customers

Chris Angus, VP Contact Centre Engagement for 8×8, said: “These figures aren’t great for people calling businesses, but they are also pretty lousy for the souls working in the contact centres for these businesses.

By the time people get through – especially if they’ve had to call back time and time again – the customers can be grumpy and irate. Who do they take that out on? The contact centre staff.

“It’s 2024, we can – and should – be doing so much better for people and solving their issues. There are chatbots, ringback services as well as multiple self-service options.

“The vast majority of calls happening to a business are routine matters and we have the technology available to deal with those.”

The survey was carried out through a mixture of online channels between Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 16 targeting Southampton and the surrounding area. More than 2,400 people responded.

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Author: 8x8

Published On: 24th Jun 2024 - Last modified: 25th Jun 2024
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