According to research from KANA Software, British consumers are becoming less patient, with the proliferation of digital devices and social networks affecting tolerance of waiting times.
David Moody, head of worldwide product strategy at KANA said: “Little more than a decade ago, 10 working days was the conventional commitment of businesses and organisations when responding to complaints; and also the span of consumer tolerance. This no longer applies.”
KANA asked a statistically representative sample of UK adults how frequently they checked for communication responses on their devices. It found that men will check a device for responses on average every 22 minutes, 30 seconds and women will check every 26 minutes, 15 seconds.
The 65+ age group checks devices more frequently than the 45-64 year old group, reflecting the time they have available and their newly developed digital capabilities. This suggests digitally enabled pensioners will become the prolific and demanding complainants within five years.
One-fifth of all social media users will check for a response at least once an hour, with one in 20 checking every 10 minutes or more.
David Moody added: “In the past 10 years, organisations have lost the ‘time shield’ previously offered by postal services. The sense that a letter was on a journey and could be anywhere between the sender and the recipient has been lost. Our impression today is that as soon as we press send, ‘Mr or Ms Cosgrove in Complaints’ should be reading our complaint and working out how to respond. If we don’t hear back quickly, our impatience rises.”
“Public-facing organisations have to recognise the adoption of social channels is truncating customer service processes. With smartphones acting as digital umbilical cords, the modern consumer is always connected. Unfortunately for service desks, ‘working days’ are an outdated concept.”
“Running a customer service operation is as complex as running air traffic control. Reductions in consumer tolerance can and should be met with a level of service that meets revised expectation. The technology already exists to support organisations that wish to monitor all channels and deal with queries and complaints in a rapid and personal fashion. Companies that don’t adjust their processes in the age of the adept digital consumer will be the losers.”
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