The best (and worst) call centres - your nominations, please
Twice in the past year, I've been treated like an idiot by my bank's call centre staff. That's fair enough, because I am an idiot, but they don't know that. In February, a member of staff promised to courier a new credit card to me, after I politely pointed out I'd waited a fortnight and it clearly wasn't going to arrive before my trip abroad. Turns out the operator was lying and in fact the bank offered no such service. Cheers.
The second time was last month, when I lost all access to my online banking. It took five calls - of which three resulted in broken promises to phone me back - before somebody figured out why I couldn't log in. In the few days I was without online banking, I went overdrawn by £30, resulting in a £38 bank charge. The letter informing me of the charge suggested I manage my money better by the means of online banking.
Thank you, NatWest.
I suspect and indeed hope they came way below First Direct in the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service, the results of which have just been released. The bank scored 92% in the UK's biggest ever call centre benchmarking exercise, conducted by independent market research company GfK NOP. The overall top 50 average was 83%, although there are far more than 50 companies with call centres in the country, so the figure doesn't neccessarily bear out real life experience.
Thankfully, NatWest is nowhere in sight of the top 10.
1 First Direct
3 F&C investments
4 Lloyds TSB Insurance
7 Charles Tyrwhitt
8 ING Direct
10 Cambridgeshire County Council
The research consisted of 20,000 mystery shopper calls to 50 of the UK's leading call centres. Each call centre was rated across five key areas of service - timeliness, ease of use, reliability, staff knowledge and personalised service.
Now, we've all had dealings with operators who are only too happy to help (I'm assuming that's the case) and we've probably all dealt with, not to put too fine a point on it, utter bastards. So would you agree with the findings? Who are your big winner call centre winners? And who needs a bloody good hiding?