Cost of Living Crisis to Spur Rise in Customer Queries to the contact centre – Companies must prepare for an influx of customer support queries and review their digital customer journey
Analysis unveiled by Firstsource Solutions Limited predicts UK households will make an extra 148 million customer service enquiries this year as the cost-of-living crisis continues and consumer spending tightens.
Higher interest rates, inflation, and rising energy costs mean UK households are more likely to cancel subscriptions, downgrade packages, query bills and charges, and shop around for better deals. Additionally, many households will struggle to maintain payments, get into arrears, and need to contact their providers for resolutions.
Forecast additional customer service enquiries to UK companies in 2023
|Enquiries per year, million||Enquiries per month, million||% of enquiries from the 20% poorest households|
|To financial services companies||64||5.2||34%|
|To energy providers||70||5.8||38%|
|To telecoms / media providers||16||1.3||25%|
Source: Firstsource analysis
Poorer households are the most likely to struggle with payments. Those with incomes in the bottom 20%, under £17k per year, are likely to account for 38% of additional calls to energy providers and 34% to financial services companies.
Rajiv Malhotra, Head of Europe, Firstsource, commented
“In my experience, businesses want to be empathetic, but unprepared companies may soon find themselves with increasing numbers of vulnerable customers unable to get support, and ever longer waiting times.
Putting the customer first means making it straightforward to ask questions and get responses across channels when and where it suits them. It also means having a process in place whereby customers with troubles, concerns or matters of a sensitive nature can speak to a human agent and get help when they need it.”
“We’re already seeing companies expand their contact centre capacity, but it’s difficult in the current labour market. Businesses can relieve some of the pressure on their contact centres by reviewing their digital customer journey by, for example, updating website FAQs, reviewing automated voice queues, adopting SMS and WhatsApp messaging, and channelling basic queries to chatbots. Companies can also plan ahead by considering options for more affordable packages and policies for customers who are behind on payments or facing financial difficulties.”
Firstsource Solutions Limited, an RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group company (NSE: FSL, BSE: 532809, Reuters: FISO.BO, Bloomberg: FSOL@IN), is a leading provider of transformational solutions and services spanning the customer lifecycle across Healthcare, Banking and Financial Services, Communications, Media, and Technology and other industries. The Company’s ‘Digital First, Digital Now’ approach helps organizations reinvent operations and reimagine business models, enabling them to deliver moments that matter and build competitive advantage. With an established presence in the US, the UK, India, and the Philippines, Firstsource acts as a trusted growth partner for over 100 leading global brands, including several Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies.
For additional information on Firstsource visit their Website