UK Contact Centre Satisfaction Survey Outlines Customers’ Greatest Frustrations

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3 years ago

Every successful enterprise knows the importance of feedback for improving its customer experience. It is up to the call contact centre to address issues that customers complain about.

With the physical restrictions that came with the pandemic, there has been an explosion in demand for queries to be resolved by contact centres. As you can expect, there are several discomforting areas for customers as they make their complaints, hence the need for contact centre speech analysis.

Awaken recently surveyed 750 UK contact centre customers about what they find frustrating about contact centres when trying to deal with complaints that they had, and you can view the full report at It also highlights the most irritating issues that arise between customers and call centres and why they even rise at all.

Top Frustrating Call Centre Issues For Customers

According to the survey, here are some of the cases that customers found to be most annoying when dealing with contact centres;

When queries take too long to get resolved:

Customers are always extremely dissatisfied with contact centre agents that keep them waiting in the line forever. It communicates to them that their queries are not treated as a priority which they certainly are.

The delays can also result from calls transferring between agents, slow responses and agents leaving calls unanswered. This is especially true with the pandemic era causing a drastic increase in workload for call centre agents, which reduces their productivity and leads to slip-ups.

A similar issue to this is when clients have to endure long waiting times for the calls. Call centres have to consider that many callers are making the queries as an issue of urgency so it can be frustrating when they are subjected to minutes of hold music. With the quick-paced nature of this digital age, most people would just hang up if the response to their queries is not fast and efficient.

When queries get met by recorded lines or chatbots:

As a way to save cost, companies tend to automate their call systems and incorporate chatbots. However, these recorded lines are typically found to be annoying by customers because they rarely resolve the queries.

Automated systems that are difficult to navigate are equally as annoying for customers. Human interaction is preferred during these calls to guide the customer’s choices better. Most people would just hang up the call if they are not given a chance to convey their emotions along with their query.

When calls get answered by inexperienced agents:

You can imagine a customer’s frustration when delivering a query to an agent who is just as clueless on the matter as they are. Before call centres can hire agents to deal with clients, they need to have in-depth knowledge of the service or product.

The company is responsible for providing training for newly hired agents on the best methods for handling customers and the ins and outs of the service delivery. When necessary, experienced agents should be available to offer assistance to the newbies.

Ranking on Industries Based on Customer Service

The industry with the most satisfactory customer service level was Finance and Banking, followed by Consumer Goods and Entertainment & Hospitality. Consumer Goods comes out as the industry with the best customer service level for both older and younger demographics.

Utilities were found to be the industry with the least satisfactory customer service level for their call centres. For younger people, Travel ranked as the industry with the worst call centre service. Business owners typically have to keep themselves updated with this kind of trends to take steps to improve the effectiveness of their call centres. One of such steps can be implementing call centre assurance software and speech analytics software.

Effect of the Pandemic on Public Opinion About Call Centre

Companies and customers have had to innovate ways to keep communication following the pandemic that came with several constraints. Virtual communication has become the backbone of client-producer interactions, which inherently increases the workload on their call centres. The report by Awaken Intelligence showed that many people think the overall quality of customer service has reduced since the pandemic.


Without top-notch call centre service, companies are bound to lose customers. This is particularly true as the world adjusts to the ‘new normal’ and the agents are met with more queries to handle than ever before.

There’s only so much automation that customers can tolerate from call centres before they hang up, hence the need for human interaction during the calls. Further studies show that the majority of customers quit transacting with a business after a bad service experience.

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