London, May 23 : The BPO or call centre boom in India might just receive a setback due to a decline in customer service levels, with people having to wait two-thirds longer on the telephone today as compared to ten years ago, according to a new study.
Many British companies are bringing their call centres back to the UK to win over their unhappy customers. In fact, HSBC has already repatriated all business customer centres to Leicester from India.
The study by Dimension Data, which took into account 300 call centres around the world, indicated that in the last ten years, the time taken for answering the phone increased from an average of 23 seconds to 38 seconds.
There was a "significant" fall in the levels of customer service, with the best centres belonging to the travel industry and the worst being in technology and the media, found the study.
In case the call remained unanswered, the customers disconnected the call more quickly than the last decade, including those who were in a queue.
The reports said that the reputation of the industry is such also because of the increasing pressure on businesses to deliver customer service to more and more expectant customers
"The increase in demand, coupled with the need to contain costs, has put significant pressure on contact centres, and is not always matched by the investment or the resources required to meet expectations," The Telegraph quoted Alex George, of Dimension Data, as saying.
These days, over one third of calls are catered by automated information or messages and not by an employee of the centre, unlike it was a decade back.
Earlier this year, another study conducted by Citizens Advice, highlighted that customer service provided by energy and phone companies were shockingly poor.
Also, gas supplier call centres stand at the bottom among energy companies and have 81 percent of people dissatisfied with how their last call was handled. Another 89 percent were found to be unhappy with the way their last call to a landline provider had been handled.
"Utilities such as gas and telecoms are essential services that people need to survive in the modern world. It is vital that people are able to contact their providers effectively when they have queries or problems," said David Harker at charity Citizens Advice.