Reliable customer service is the primary focus in marketing today. As it turns out, some companies take it very seriously. Results shown below are based on our test of random companies in Poland.
We wanted to determine the quality of telephone customer service at different companies. For this purpose, we conducted an experiment to check ease of contact, time spent waiting during a phone call, and the kindness of customer service. We selected at random a company where the telephone is used for customer service, marketing, and/or sales. We chose companies that provided a contact number on their website. We selected those that (as we suspected) use the Internet during work hours. These include the following:
• Language school – Profi-Lingua
• Training company – HILLWAY
• Online store – Zalando
• Insurance companies - PZU and Link4
• Medical center – Medicover
• Postal company – InPost
• Business publisher – ICAN Institute
• E-commerce company – Shoplo
• Telecommunications - UPC
We called each selected company at the number given on its website. We explained that we were lost in Otwock near Warsaw and said we needed a taxi to quickly reach the station. We asked them to find us a number of any taxi company in Otwock.
The test was conducted between 15:45 and 16:25 on the 28th of January 2016. We tried to contact nine companies.
We managed to talk with consultants at 5 of the 9 companies selected for the test. Four companies granted assistance not related to their main field of activity. 89% of the companies provided friendly service, which we think is a very good result!
The shortest waiting time to talk was just 7 seconds! This was from HILLWAY, a company we chose to test because it provides professional customer service training. We also received efficient service from Profi-lingua, Shoplo, and ICAN Institute. These companies are to be commended for their friendly attitude, attention to the call, and willingness to support.
We connected with Zalando after nearly a minute of waiting, but the consultant refused to help, saying that they could only provide information related to products in the store. We understand these procedures.
In other cases, we were unable to connect with the consultants. Inpost, Medicover, PZU, UPC, and Link4 welcomed us with all kinds of hotlines, which required us to enter an account number, PESEL number, number of a chosen department, etc. We soon gave up though. Not even once were we able to talk with a consultant.
The results of this test are not representative because of the small number of reliable companies, but they show a certain relationship. Contact with smaller companies is relatively simple and fast, and the service is friendly to the potential customer--spontaneous, less formal, and simply benevolent. With more structured companies, contact is much more difficult.
In summary, companies that supported us in an unusual case gained our sympathy, and we would willingly use their services in the future. We know the importance of immediate and direct contact, and we believe that reliable customer service is the new trend in marketing today and worthy of investment. Do you know how your company would respond in such a test?
We encourage you to do something similar to verify your own company's level of customer service. You can compare your results with ours.