Cold calling agencies continue to damage genuine customer service, as recent stats reveal 10 per cent of mobile phone users report receiving over 20 unwanted cold calls, with 72 per cent saying they’ve had at least one similar call on their mobile. There needs to be a clamp down on perpetrators to prevent them destroying the industry’s already delicate reputation.
Cold calls have been an issue for far too long now, with the industry receiving a lot of negative press because of it. Although the majority of contact centres have strong ethical principles behind their work, there are a small number in the industry that are dragging the rest down and threatening the gains made thus far by the industry as it improves its relationship with the wider public. The rising number of nuisance calls to mobiles is unacceptable, and I’d like to see a harder line taken by the authorities with cold calling perpetrators.
However, it’s important to remember not to paint the whole industry with the same brush; while negative press may draw people’s attention, it’s critical to understand where these calls are coming from and to highlight the advances taken by the majority of businesses. We have seen steps taken by the ICO and Ofcom to probe the Telephone Preference Service to see how successful it is in preventing unwanted calls. Making sure these organisations are working efficiently is important, but we need to make sure that they avoid attacking the entire industry based on a small percentage of companies.
The impact of cold calling goes much deeper than a poor public image. Constant connectivity means consumers have come to expect more proactive customer care, due to the fact they are now so easily contactable – especially pronounced with the proliferation of mobile devices. This should be good news for both customers and contact centres, as if there are any issues that customers are having, the business can easily get hold of them to offers solutions quickly and easily. However, if customers are being barraged by cold calls and junk emails that are of no relevance or use to them, they are not going to answer an unrecognised number or text message if they think its just going to be another pointless conversation. Consumers rightly want to hear if their bank account is having problems or if they could save money though a new service but, if further alienated by nuisance calls, this just wont happen.
We should not let mobile cold callers off scot-free. They are having a damaging effect on both the industry and consumers and need to be stopped before this problem escalates. More needs to be done to protect both consumers and ethical businesses and to really put an end to the more rogue agencies who create not only the headlines, but the complaints in the first place.
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