Online Newsletter for Call Center Personnel
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume VIII, Issue 11

Date: November 1, 2007 - Retention and Offshoring

Because so many questions can now be answered on websites, the more difficult issues are presented to the CSRs.  When this study asked why customers were calling, they found:

             63%     to receive product or service support
            42%     to place an order; or check order status
            28%     to complain
             7%      other

 Note:  numbers do not total 100% because multiple responses were allowed

Again, the most crucial factor contributing to satisfaction, loyalty, retention and possible word-of-mouth is whether or not the CSR resolved the caller’s issue.  This study reports 18% of customers did not have their issue resolved.  Customers who do resolve their issue have satisfaction scores 46 points higher than those who do not.  Those who do not have their issue resolved are eight times more likely to defect, as shown below.


% of Callers


Likelihood to


Likelihood to


Customers whose issue was resolved





Customers whose issue was not resolved





Note:  Don’t know = 4%

On average, about 2/5th or 38% of the respondents said they tried to reach the company first through means other than the call center.  85% of callers who try another method first try a company’s website which fails to meet their needs—forcing them to try another avenue to resolve their issue.  Now they’re contacting the company a second time, and usually the call is escalated because of the frustration of not getting their needs met by the website.

 Of course, we know that not every issue can be addressed via the web.  One of the lessons learned from this research is that improving the quality of online service could defer hundreds of thousands of unnecessary calls from the costly contact center.  Contact centers should really help resolve issues that can’t be resolved on the web. 

 Further, the contact center should have processes in place to enhance the website based on what CSRs learn from the customers about what isn’t working effectively or efficiently, or not at all!

How?  Ask the customer to walk you through their process.

Most customers who are satisfied with the call center experience will remain customers; those who are not satisfied will defect—and they might bring their friends and family with them as they share their bad experience with others and they certainly won’t recommend the company’s products and/or services.

 As you can see from the table below 76% of those with negative experiences share that experience with others, compared to only 46% of people who have a positive experience.  That means three quarters of the people with a bad experience already told others.  They’re maybe angry enough to tell their friends and family and anyone who will listen.  Negative word of mouth is something no one can afford.


Satisfied with Call Center

Dissatisfied with Call Center

Aggregate of all industries



% who will continue doing business with the company



% who have shared their experience with others



% who will recommend the co.



This report further found that one out of eight contact center callers (12%) will no longer do business with a company based on their experience; and another 12% are in jeopardy as to whether they’ll continue doing business with a company.  That means 24% are at risk based solely on their experience with the call center.

 Another big issue facing contact centers is whether or not to ‘offshore.’  Everyone agrees there are cost savings but there is also a cost not only by the loss of American jobs but the lower level of (perceived) service customers may get from offshore centers.

Most callers think they are being serviced by a center in the US.  This study showed this to be true in all industries except the PC industry where half the customers thought the center is either based offshore or they didn’t know.  No coincidence that the PC industry had the lowest CSR score and the lowest satisfaction score of all industries.

 Customers who think the center is offshore rate the performance of the CSRs significantly lower, recommend the company less often, and are almost twice as likely to sever business relations with the company.

However, it’s not the offshoring per se that drives negative perceptions, but rather, poor service quality drives those perceptions.  Why?  Because CSRs who are difficult to understand are also less adept at solving customer problems.  When CSRs are perceived to speak clearly, they solve customer issues 88% of the time.  When they are difficult to understand, issues are solved only 45% of the time.  Big gap here!

 *Source:  CFI Group Call Center Satisfaction Study Commentary and Analysis

2007 Human Technologies Global, Inc. All rights reserved.

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