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Southend, UK, 22nd August, 2007 – According to a survey of 2,500 consumers, the majority (96%) would seriously consider changing a provider, if it meant it was easier to contact a customer service representative for enquiries, rather than be faced by a recorded telephone message or no facility to speak to a live operator.

The survey commissioned by outsourced contact centre, Converso, also found a disgruntled 86 per cent of Brits said they find themselves constantly saying yes or no to an answer phone rather than actually talking to someone. The poll also revealed that more than three quarters of consumers have trouble even trying to find a contact number for a company in the first place.

Director at Converso Contact Centres, Dino Forte said: “Part of the reason for commissioning the survey was to find out how people really feel about customer service and the value of having someone at the end of the line. The results show that for the large majority there is still no substitute for the human touch. Good service is all about offering customers the choices they want. Too many companies, especially those that operate on-line, fail to ALSO offer customers the option of speaking to someone, resulting in frustration and potential loss of business.”

The problem appears to be magnified for on-line purchases. Almost 80 per cent say they have spent valuable time on a company’s website trawling for contact details, with the average person spending almost six minutes searching for a number before either finding it or giving up.

Not surprisingly, 88 per cent of found it frustrating when they want to speak to someone but the website only offers an email address.

More than 84 per cent of people have got so fed up they have eventually given up and resorted to using the email contact form instead but even then they still have trouble getting through.

A frustrated 29 per cent say they never received a reply at all and more than a quarter had to wait more than a week to hear back.

Converso’s Dino Forte added, “In what is increasingly becoming a 24/7 society where customers want to be able to speak to someone at all times of the day, more and more companies are considering outsourcing as a way of managing out-of-hours calls or handling overflow calls during busy periods when the volume of customer enquiries is high and they may not have the internal resources to cope.”
The poll also revealed that utility companies are the worst offenders with 36 per cent saying they find it hardest to get hold of a person when contacting their water, gas or electric provider.

The second worst are banks followed, ironically, by phone companies. The poll also found that as well as getting frustrated at not being able to talk to anyone, 71 per cent also worry about giving out personal details to a recorded message or on a website.

Top five worst offenders for getting through to a customer service rep.

1. Utility companies
2. Banks
3. Phone companies
4. Council/Government
5. Credit card companies


Editor’s Notes:
About Converso:

Established in 1997 as Response Track Ltd, the seasoned telemarketing specialist changed its name to Converso Contact Centres in 2003 and provides both inbound and outbound call handling. The company’s well-trained, highly motivated and friendly staff are an all-important first point of contact for its customers and are backed up by a virtual call centre - a sophisticated blend of people skills and advanced computer and telephone integration. The company services a range of industries including finance, utilities, public sector, manufacturing, leisure, IT & telco, retail and the arts.

Press Contact: Jane Moores (Mobile: 07966 176028) / Sally Minchin, TTA Communications LTD. Tel: 00 44 (0) 845 658 0120. E-mail:


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