Almost half of MoneySavers prefer to contact customer services via phone, finds new MSE poll

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MSE_EmilyMSE_Emily MSE Staff
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MSE Staff
Almost half (47%) of MoneySavers prefer to contact customer services via phone, a new poll has found. However, this varies greatly by age, with most younger respondents (aged 49 and under) preferring to use Live Chat services over phone...
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Almost half of MoneySavers prefer to contact customer services via phone, finds new MSE poll
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  • dosh37dosh37 Forumite
    222 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Surely the answer to such a question depends on what the Customer Service issue is rather than having anything to do with age.

    If it's a complex technical or software issue then it's often easier to use email so that you can gather the relevant information and include screen shots, file attachments etc.

    In some cases the customer may want to attach a photo of a faulty or damaged item thay have bought.

    I find a lot of the time, Live Chat is not answered.

    The big advantage of a voice call is that it gives a real-time interactive dialogue: One answer may prompt the user to ask a follow on question which can immediatley get an answer.

    Did the poll include these kind of questions?

    I often get annoyed with polls because, more often than not, they do not allow people to freely give their views.
    Polls are usually arranged so that people can only tick pre-defined checkboxes for questions that the originator has thought of.
    That may allow the results to be easily analysed by software but it doesn't give the full picture of what people really think.

  • edited 2 October at 2:46PM
    david72david72 Forumite
    51 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts
    edited 2 October at 2:46PM
    It is very odd that the poll didn't actually include the most useful option: secure web messaging!

    (Most) normal email isn't secure, messages are sent unencrypted between your mail server and the recipient's mail server, and so could in theory be intercepted en route, far from ideal when private financial matters are being discussed, whereas messages sent by the web should be secure as they are taking place within the boundaries of the organisation's web platform.

    Using a third-party smartphone app, such as WhatsApp, is not available to everyone, and untrustworthy, with Facebook sniffing conversation metadata for advertising and who knows what other purposes. Using social media feels like washing your dirty laundry in public, although it can sometimes have uses when the organisation needs to be shamed into action.

    Phone calls and live chat (if you can actually get beyond a usually not very helpful chat bot, which increasing numbers of sites use for initial queries) have the same annoying weakness: they rely on both parties to conversations being available at the same time. The tedious nature of long call centre phone queues are one major downside to that inherent requirement.

    Humanity invented writing so that people could have conversations without both having to be available at the same time. And what if I want/need to send a message late at night, when the call centre may be closed? Real time conversations are only of any use for something that genuinely requires an immediate response, such as a request for insurance assistance, a lost bank card or a fraudulent transaction (and perhaps even these could be initially submitted by web form, as long as such forms are assigned to a priority team for prompt followup).

    But for more ordinary customer service enquiries: I send a secure web message at a time convenient to me, the organisation replies at a time convenient to them, when someone is available (and hopefully having had time to think through the response properly, rather than under the real time pressure to give an immediate, and possibly wrong, answer (often requiring the customer to call back again)). Everybody wins, nobody loses.
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