Consumer hounding declines, but more needs to be done, says Aspect Software

Following Ofcom’s announcement that it had observed a significant decrease in silent, abandoned and nuisance calls, customer engagement expert, Dave Ogden commented that, while such improvements should be seen in a positive light, the job is far from complete. 

Ofcom reported that the number of complaints to the organisation regarding silent and abandoned calls has fallen by 27 per cent since the peak in April 2013. Research indicated that the frequency of consumers experiencing nuisance calls on a landline fell from 82 per cent (February 2013) to 68 per cent (July 2013). However, this decline has tapered off since then.

Dave Ogden, Account Executive at Aspect Software, commented: “This is an encouraging sign after years of customer and industry frustration, and it is fantastic to see Ofcom’s work in this area is paying dividends. However, given the recent stagnation of this downward trajectory, it is vital that the eradication of such negative practices remains at the top of the agenda. Whilst the majority of organisations do stick to the rules and do put the customer first, there are those ‘strike-it-rich-quick’ type of organisations who continue to prey on consumers with dubious marketing methods. Sadly it seems the sheer number of these types of companies is increasing and they are creating issues for an industry that’s spent a lot of time, effort and money to clean its image up.

“The two crucial factors contributing to silent, abandoned or unwanted contact are: the misuse of technology originally designed to negate such practices, and consistently high levels of pressure on contact centre managers to use such aggressive and inefficient strategies – a culture of quantity not quality,” Ogden explained. “In a business environment characterised by an increased importance on brand image, and the experience consumers receive, it is crucial that businesses and contact centres take the initiative to improve the ethics of their practices, along with the continued pressure from regulators like Ofcom.”

Ogden concluded: “The customer experience must be placed at the forefront of business strategies. While the balancing act between compliance and contact centre productivity continues to be a challenge, particularly with tightened purse strings, it can be all too easy to resort to the numbers game. Indeed, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’, and forward thinking, responsible organisations are taking radical steps to improve their operations, ensuring regulatory compliance and greater efficiencies. Utilising alternative contact channels such as email, instant messaging, SMS and social media – while also using technology to enable better targeting – companies can improve their own performance and build a positive relationship with the consumer.”

About Aspect

Aspect’s fully-integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern contact centre management: customer interaction management, workforce optimisation, and back-office. We help the world’s most demanding contact centres seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences. For more information, visit www.aspect.com.