Customer Service From The Canadian Cell Phone Companies

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 by Mistlee

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Customer Service From The Canadian Cell Phone Companies

By Barry Welford

An earlier post discussed the customer service provided by the Canadian cell phone companies, Bell, Rogers and Telus. It was based on a remark by Peter Mansbridge on the CBC TV Nightly News. He said all three were low on the customer service scale as measured in a study they had done. You can now read more on this in CBC Customer Service Survey.

This describes the details of the process:

Working with the CBC Research Department, we developed a unique set of standards that evaluate everything from the interactive voice response system that answers most calls these days, to the time you're left waiting on hold. We also measured the effectiveness of the operator - how well they understood the caller, how well the caller could understand the operator, and their demeanour.

We called each company three times: once during a weekday, once at night and once on the weekend. Our call researchers kept detailed notes of each call and then scored the company's performance out of 100

Here are actual rankings.

Certainly it's surprising that the telephone companies are not higher in using their own technology, the telephone, to provide customer service. As the author of a post on the survey in the CMA - Canadian Marketing Association - Blog commented, he or she had some reservations:

There is one area that leads me to want to ignore the findings of this survey. The size of the sample of the survey was too small. They called the businesses once during the day, once during the evening and once during the weekend. They based their entire satisfaction rating on 3 calls. Most of these businesses will receive millions of calls each year. The sample size is simply too small to make an accurate rating on the level of service provided by these organizations.

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Your level of satisfaction with a company has everything to do with who you reach when you call. We all hope for a minimum of fast and excellent service and are satisfied when we receive it. Unfortunately this is not realistic in many cases. Even the highest rated call centres achieve satisfaction ratings in the 80% area. That means 20% of customers are not completely satisfied at any given time.

In fact customer service in general is even worse than these figures show. If you read the small print, you will see that this was only measuring the customer experience. This is just whether you can get through and communicate intelligently with an agent. For that the small size of the samples is not quite so critical. These figures do have some relevance and they are confirming that the telephone companies don't do too well even on this.

If you do manage to get through, the true measure of customer service is whether the client is satisfied with the outcome. On that it would appear that the Canadian cell phone companies are again falling down as measured by the chatter in the blogosphere. There are a number of reasons for this but the gotchas in the complex rate plans seem high on the list. Perhaps it's not surprising that the politicians who are usually seeking popularity and votes would take a highly popular decision and open up the Canadian cell phone market to increased competition.


About the Author:
Barry Welford, President of SMM Strategic Marketing Montreal works with business owners and senior management on Internet Marketing strategy and action plans to grow their companies. He is a moderator at the Cre8asite Forums and writes on current issues on the Internet and on the Mobile Web in three blogs, BPWrap, StayGoLinks and The Other Bloke's Blog.

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