Wednesday, October 3, 2007

90 Second Warning For Retailers

Four in 10 customers are prepared to wait a mere 90 seconds to buy goods in-store, according to recent research released by IP solutions provider Mitel. The research, based on a sample of 2,353 consumers in the UK, also found that nearly half (48%) of customers kept waiting in-store will leave the shop without buying anything and will go to a competitor.

Customers proved to be even less tolerant when they are left waiting on hold when they call a retailer with a question. Only 34% said they would stay on the phone for an average of 90 seconds. The biggest frustration for curstomers when calling a retailer, according to the data, is not knowing where they are in the queue (80%), while 74% cited being directed to a foreign call center and 68% cited the cost of the call.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they believe retailers need to make call centers more user-friendly and 42% think making more information online will improve customer service.

Lisa Dolphin, retail specialist at Mitel, said, "While retailers recognize the importance of the in-store customer experience and invest in displays, lighting and other mood enhancements, the telephone experience is often overlooked. With the emergence of IP communications there is no excuse for customers to be kept waiting in call queues indefinitely or worrying about the cost of the call."

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