According to a recent article in The Guardian, poor customer service is costing UK businesses £11.4bn a month in lost productivity with employees averaging one day a week dealing with problems. A Finnish technology company Aiwo recognises scope for major cost savings as their data shows that an average of 60% of customer contacts are, in fact, unnecessary for both customer and the company.
The Guardian article states that UK traders are currently taking record amounts of time to resolve issues, and taking record hits to their profits and reputation. A “customer satisfaction index”, published by the UK Institute of Customer Service (ICS), found satisfaction was falling year-on-year, with nearly 17% of consumers reporting issues with a trader.
According to the data produced by Aiwo, an average of 60% of customer contacts for companies come from customers returning through multiple channels with the same issues because the service they have received does not meet their needs or solve their problems. The volume of these contacts varies across industries, from 40% to 80%.
These repetitive contacts are a major challenge in today’s B2C companies as they increase the direct costs of customer service, degrade customer service capacity, and result in poor customer experience.
“There is a huge savings potential in reducing these recurring and unnecessary contacts”, says Pekka Törmälä, the Executive Director of Aiwo. “But it requires companies to identify the underlying causes of these customer issues and to eliminate them. It may sound easy, but companies have an absolutely huge amount of customer contact data currently, scattered across various channels and between in-house and outsourced services.”
“Poor customer service is typically an indication of underlying issues on the operational level, not of the capabilities of the customer service team. It results from inefficiencies and difficulties within operations, which customer service employees then attempt to resolve using their problem-solving abilities”, Pekka Törmälä continues.
The number of customer contacts has doubled in the last few years due to digitalisation, and despite the introduction of new service channels, customer service leaders are reporting a continuous increase in call volumes. Data produced by Aiwo underscores the importance of utilising AI technologies to enhance customer service and reduce costs for BC2 businesses.
Aiwo is a Finnish technology company specialising in AI-driven analysis of customer initiated contacts. Their solution aims to help companies substantially improve customer experience by stopping the unwanted growth in contact volumes and thus reduce operational costs.