Half of consumers in Saudi Arabia on hold to call centres give up within five minutes
Half of the consumers in Saudi Arabia (48%) using call centres get frustrated and hang up within five minutes of waiting for an answer, according to new research commissioned by Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia. After 10 minutes fewer than one-in-10 callers (8%) is still on the line waiting for an answer.
Some 43 per cent of people in Saudi Arabia are driven to distraction by being put on hold by call centres and think it is the worst thing about the customer experience with companies that they use. A further quarter (26%) are left fuming by having to navigate multiple automated options before being able to talk to a human being. The average ‘Temper Time’ – the time it takes for callers to give up waiting and hang up the telephone – is 5 minutes 12 seconds. Three-quarters (76%) of people in Saudi Arabia think three successive automated options is too many to tolerate.
“It is human nature to get frustrated while on-hold. Consumers in Saudi Arabia are fed up with poor experience when they telephone customer service, and they deserve a fast response and immediate action” said Ms. Ashwag Turky Baha, Virgin Mobile’s Member Care Director at the company’s Jeddah centre. “They don’t like companies that think they should put up with it. Today’s young people particularly think they should receive first class customer service from the companies that they use, and we agree,” she continued.
54 per cent of consumers in Saudi Arabia believe that telecommunications companies are the worst culprits, far ahead of utilities and banks which are considered the worst offenders by fewer than one-in-10 consumers each. “Virgin Mobile is the next generation mobile service that is being built by today’s talented young Saudi Arabians,” said Ms. Turky Baha. “We have all experienced the nightmare of automated call centres ourselves in the past so we designed Virgin Mobile’s member care service to be the exact opposite. Everyone who calls us is answered by a human being straight away, not a computer. This is a really important part of how we are Making Mobile Better for our members.” Virgin Mobile’s member care assistants are empowered to solve most problems on the spot, with no need to transfer customers to more senior colleagues to resolve simple issues.
“All my member care champions in Jeddah can resolve almost any issue themselves, straight away, without referring to anyone else,” said Ashwag. “We think this is the minimum our members should expect – to have the phone picked up by a real person who can help them quickly.” Virgin Mobile also has member care assistants who are constantly monitoring the company’s social media accounts so they can help members who prefer to make contact on Twitter or via Facebook.
Virgin Mobile launched its new type of mobile service in November 2014, aiming to change the mobile market for the benefit of consumers and wider society. Since Virgin Mobile’s arrival in Saudi Arabia, the mobile provider has been working in with the young and the young-at-heart to create a new generation of mobile service that is inspired by and designed for the people of the Kingdom. The research was conducted for Virgin Mobile by the internationally-recognised research firm YouGov and was based on a statistically-representative sample of 600 adults in Saudi Arabia.