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Drastic shift in consumer behaviour

Sep 20th 2011, 08:04

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September 2011
Drastic shift in consumer behaviour

The Consumer Protection Act, which came into effect on 1 April this year, has seen a drastic change in the way call centres handle customer queries. The consumers of today are more aware of their rights and responsibilities; they demand more information and quicker response times. As a result call centre consultants have to up-skill and offer more support in the fast-changing environment of customer care.

Consumer complaint lines no longer operate during normal working hours. In fact, it’s important for these services to operate from 08:00 to 22:00 seven days a week, all year-round.

Although call centres remain the dominant channel of communication for consumers, the use of social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter, together with the growing number of blogging websites, have also become popular means for them to raise complaints and share views. But, due to the real-time nature of this communication – consumers can air complaints at any time of the day or night – it has become vital for service providers to handle enquiries sent via these channels, promptly and accurately.

This has lead one customer care provider, 121 Outsource, to introduce a Multi Channel Support (MSC) structure to handle queries sent through all communication channels without delay, which includes a team of agents dedicated to handling queries sent via social media.

The 121 Outsource group are specialists in customer care in South Africa. For more information on their services contact them on or visit their website,

Please feel free to make comments or raise new issues by emailing the editor
Featured Client : 121 Outsource
Customer Care, the neglected orphan of the FMCG Industry has suddenly been turned on its head. The recent launch of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) has changed the landscape of how companies view their Customer Care Hotlines. Those companies who do not have a customer care strategy in place should seriously consider their stance on this. The CPA will ensure that companies seriously consider the way they attend to complaints from their consumers.

Did you know!?
That the call rate in the average call centre handling consumer complaints has a call ratio of +- 46.39% inbound and +- 53.61% outbound, based on 211 107 calls received during January 2011 – July 2011. (Based on 121 Group averages for the period) read more
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