Road haulage firms’ call handling standards have come into question as the result of a major new study into telephone practice. The research conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, which audited 135 companies in the road haulage sector, discovered the large majority risk losing custom by subjecting customers to generic music and audio while on hold.
Typically, waiting on hold is seen as a major bugbear but 46 per cent of road haulage firms still leave customers listening to nothing but generic music. A further 25 per cent subject callers to beeps, while 21 per cent leave them in silence and five per cent force them to listen to ringing.
Only one per cent employ brand-consistent voice and music messaging – viewed as the best practice approach to handling calls – less than the national average of two per cent.
Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director at PHMG, said: “Call handling remains a critically undervalued element of customer service and marketing. A previous study of 1,000 UK consumers found 73 per cent will not do business with a company again if their first call isn’t handled satisfactorily.
“Therefore, it is important companies do their utmost to improve the experience. The research shows there is still work to be done in providing an experience that keeps callers engaged and entertained.
“Generic music, beeps, ringing or silence convey a message that the customer is not valued, which will only serve to compound any annoyance felt as a result of being made to wait on hold.”
The research also found 93 per cent of road haulage firms do not even use auto attendant messaging to greet customers who call up outside of normal working hours.
“It’s essential to give careful consideration to what people hear whenever they make contact with your company,” added Williamson.
“Hearing is one of our most powerful emotional senses so the sounds customers hear when they call a business will create a long-lasting impression. Every element of a music track, whether tempo, pitch or instrumentation, will stir different emotions so traders should ensure they convey the appropriate brand image.”
For further information about PHMG, please call 0800 408 1451 or visit their website at: phmg.com.