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Topic # 148597 24-Jun-2014 13:22
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I want to setup a soapbox, start a cause ! that companies place there 0800 number in the top right corner of the front page of there website to see how customer focused they are!




Is an English Man living in New Zealand. Not a writer, an Observer he says. Graham is a seasoned 'traveler" with his sometimes arrogant, but honest opinion on life. He loves the Internet!.

 

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  Reply # 1073416 24-Jun-2014 13:27
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I don't like talking to companies on the phone.  I prefer to do my business with them electronically where at all possible.  I get annoyed when I have to call a company, because they haven't been able to offer me an online way of doing something.
I'd rather a company focus their efforts to provide good online systems to their customers, than spend money on call centres where one of their staff pushes buttons to do something that I could do myself

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  Reply # 1073438 24-Jun-2014 14:02
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As someone that works at a company that has many non technical people calling, putting details on the website just results in more wasted time for us, when if they would just go and use the search feature to find things the wouldn't need to call us to ask if we sold something or not.

Having to call a number to talk to a company is a symptom of the website not filling the needs and it would be better they address that.

And 0800 numbers suck. When its free for people to call, they call a lot. It costs heaps to get the calls compared to what it costs to call a normal number from a mobile. That is why we dont take mobile calls to the 0800.




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  Reply # 1073440 24-Jun-2014 14:03
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I have serious issues when companies don't advertise their phone numbers clearly. I will wherever possible deal with companies where I can speak to someone if I HAVE to.

A phone number on a website should be 1 click or less away from wherever you are.


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  Reply # 1073445 24-Jun-2014 14:06
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I much prefer companies to have a phone number on their contact page, but if phone is the primary method of contact, I won't bother. I'll find someone who is less hassle to deal with (but, as with networkn, that does have phone as an option if it becomes necessary). I'd much rather a good website that allows me to find / do what I need, with live chat or email support, and phone as a last resort.




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  Reply # 1073448 24-Jun-2014 14:11
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I find it exceptionally annoying when phone numbers are prominent and there are no other contact details such as an email address.

Most companies only answer phones during the day. That's a time many of us are too busy to deal with being on the phone.





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  Reply # 1073451 24-Jun-2014 14:13
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sbiddle: I find it exceptionally annoying when phone numbers are prominent and there are no other contact details such as an email address.

Most companies only answer phones during the day. That's a time many of us are too busy to deal with being on the phone.






I just as passionately dislike having email contact forms, 85% of which in my experience are not configured correctly and which don't get answered either at all, or not in a timely fashion.

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  Reply # 1073454 24-Jun-2014 14:16
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Worse are those horrid contact forms. We have one on the website. I hate it, it still munges things that are not basic characters so when people use emogis and similar on it we get random html nonsense come thru.




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  Reply # 1073458 24-Jun-2014 14:36
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I'm more concerned about there grammar on there websites. tongue-out




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  Reply # 1073471 24-Jun-2014 14:41
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gnfb: I want to setup a soapbox, start a cause ! that companies place there 0800 number in the top right corner of the front page of there website to see how customer focused they are!


I disagree that simply displaying an 0800 number shows they are customer focussed.

When we have the internet there should be no need to ever call a company if that company is sufficiently focussed on providing a great online experience.  Having an 0800 number is a crutch for bad service IMHO.  (and yes, even if your home internet goes down, you still have 3G/4G, so with a decent website or app, it's not a a problem)

The least customer focussed companies pretty much all have 0800 numbers.  (take your pick)
Some of the most customer focussed companies don't have any number at all.  e.g. Xero

At Bigpipe we don't have a phone number either, and we like to think we are highly customer focussed.

Online support is where support should be in the 21st century - vastly superior to phone support both for the customer and for us.
Rather than treating it like a 2nd class citizen and relying on the call centre, businesses should be embracing online and pouring their focus into it rather than making the token effort that most do (something like 50% of NZ businesses don't have any web presence at all!)

 

  • No waiting on hold for someone to pick up. 
  • No waiting on hold while someone not familiar with your problem goes and asks someone else to help. 
  • No need to patiently explain your issue again and again to multiple people as they pass you off from person to person - everything is right there in your email.
  • Everything is tracked via email so both us and the customer always have a copy of everything that has been said - no arguing over who said what or straining to understand unusual accents.
  • Urgent problems can easily jump the queue in front of non-urgent problems, so they get fixed faster.
  • Cheaper for us to setup and manage - which means better price for your broadband despite the fact we buy more international capacity per customer than any other ISP to provide the best experience.

It's just better overall.
It's funny that some people will look at us and think "Oh, online-only support. That must be bad/budget service" When the reality is the exact opposite. Our average response time to a support request is around 20 minutes. (most businesses will do 24 hours for email). For urgent issues, it's faster still.  
20 minutes is less time than you will often spend waiting on hold with other ISPs - with the added benefit that with us you can go off and watch TV or whatever whilst you wait.
We're not all the way there yet with the stuff we want to do, but already we're seeing the benefits.

As you can tell, I feel quite passionately about this.  Having experienced it here running Bigpipe, it's really something that any business that is internet based should be doing IMHO, not relying on an 0800 number to see them through - even if they do place it prominently on their website.





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  Reply # 1073472 24-Jun-2014 14:45
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DarthKermit: I'm more concerned about there grammar on there websites. tongue-out


What about spelling? You could take a lesson or two yourself.

Onward
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  Reply # 1073480 24-Jun-2014 14:54
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I prefer phone, it's quicker, friendlier, more flexible and efficient.




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  Reply # 1073484 24-Jun-2014 14:58
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KiwiNZ: I prefer phone, it's quicker, friendlier, more flexible and efficient.


I often find this as well. Written methods for troubleshooting are a nightmare. Written word doesn't convey tone correctly often and can cause issues, especially if correct grammar and spelling are not covered properly.

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  Reply # 1073488 24-Jun-2014 15:03
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KiwiNZ: I prefer phone, it's quicker, friendlier, more flexible and efficient.


Thankyou for calling, your call is important to us, here is some awful music for you to listen to while we are dealing with other peoples trivial problems that are their own doing, and providing them with information they could have found on the website if they bothered to read.





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  Reply # 1073493 24-Jun-2014 15:05
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There are many online companies that don't have a phone number, infact some of the biggest companies in the world, including facebook etc.
To have a phone number means you need additional staff to man the line, which is an additional cost. Also if it is an 0800 number then it costs the company each time someone phones up, so they would need to charge more to accommodate that additioanl cost. Most companies I deal with that don't have a phone number displayed will reply to emails quickly. Email is also often far easier to reply to, and you can cut and paste links etc. With doing things over the phone you can take 10 times as long explaining things, and then spelling out URLs.
But can't stand some contact forms that use capchas that are unreadable. Googles are now pretty bad too, you often have to refresh multiple times to get a readable one.
I have seen some companies now that have an 0900 number instead for support calls, so it is user pays, and is perhaps a better option, especially for lower margin services. It means that people will only phone if they have something urgent.

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  Reply # 1073494 24-Jun-2014 15:06
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9 times out of 10 I find the phone faster. 

Phone numbers are hardly ever displayed on the home page of a website. I can't recall ever finding a number on the home page actually. 

Badly designed contact forms are very annoying. 

Many times when I send an email or use a contact field I receive a message that my question will be answered within 24/48 hours or whatever. That is too slow when I can phone and get an answer nearly immediately. 

Very few companies do online/email enquiries properly.

Maybe Amazon does an ok job, can't think of any others off the top of my head. 

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