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People in the Northeast Unwilling to Tolerate Poor Call Handling by Businesses

Almost three-fifths of consumers in America’s Northeast will never buy from a company again if their first phone call is not handled satisfactorily, research has revealed.

The survey of 2,234 Americans, conducted by audio branding specialist PH Media Group, discovered 61 percent of customers in the Northeast are unwilling to tolerate poor call handling standards from businesses.

The result makes them the least tolerant in the USA, equal with the West. Those in the South (57 percent) were found to be the most tolerant, closely followed by the Midwest (59 percent).

“The results show that first impressions are absolutely crucial and the fact customers will base their decision on whether to do business with a company on the first phone call should be a clear warning to businesses in the Northeast,” said Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director at PH Media Group.

“Given that the telephone is a crucial tool in converting sales to leads, a lasting negative impression formed on the back of a poor-quality call can have a detrimental effect on business profitability.

“Best practice in call handling must apply to all facets of the experience if it is to be effective. This means scrutinising the way calls are answered, the phone manner of customer service advisors and the sounds heard while on hold, including voice and music.”

The research also discovered America’s older generation are particularly intolerant. Sixty-three per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds claim they would not provide repeat business to companies who did not answer their call in an acceptable manner.

On the other hand, younger consumers were found to be slightly more tolerant with the figure dropping to 54 per cent for 18 to 24-year-olds.

Mark added: “Even in in demographics where tolerance is higher, more than half of respondents refuse to do repeat business with a company who didn’t handle their first phone call to expectations.

“For organisations, providing employees with telephone training can help, along with implementing brand congruent audio branding and in doing so, businesses can ensure that their brand image is safeguarded while strengthening a sense of trust and professionalism.”

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