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Call centres upset customers finds study

LONDON - Banks are being warned that their call centres risk alienating their customers, and that there is a huge gap between their objectives for having call centres and the way they evaluate their success.

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The survey, by call centre technology company Vocalis, says that despite claiming they are there to provide customer service, banks' call centres tend to be judged on how quickly they handle calls.

Mike Banbrook, chief consultant for Vocalis, said: "These issues are significant to the operations because call centres are used for four-fifths of consumer contact with their banks and, as the banks told us, customers are now demanding even more service of those call centres."

The findings of the survey are published at the same time as a wider study, conducted by Mintel, found that nine out of 10 people admit call centres get them angry and frustrated.

The Mintel survey found that almost one third of respondents had hung up after being left in a queue waiting for someone to take their call.

Other bugbears were listening to annoying on-hold music, which upset more than half of those surveyed; not being provided with an appropriate choice at the beginning of a call, which irritated 44% of respondents; and one-third hated the automated voices.

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