Is customer service asleep on the job?

by Lou on December 1, 2006


An independent survey conducted in the UK by customer service auditing firm Talisma concluded that many popular online gaming sites provide poor customer service.

Here’s how the results were obtained. Following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in the United States, a Talisma researcher posing as a customer asked each site if online betting in the UK was legal.

Fully 40 percent of emails sent to the sites were ignored. Phone calls didn’t fare much better. Sixteen percent of calls placed by customer service auditors posing as customers were unanswered. During online chat sessions with customer service representatives, 30 percent of requests for advice made were not addressed and no follow-up response was provided.

Talisma also found that only 4 percent of the surveyed sites offered self-support documentation that was sufficient for problem solving.

If you’ve ever requested help at an online site, this survey may confirm your experience — that online poker rooms do a bad job of providing service, and probably do an inadequate of training their staff to deal with even commonly occurring customer service issues.

There’s a message in this bottle for online poker rooms. Training customer service employees is not a pill you take once, improvements can always be made, and better service should be an ongoing objective.

It’s also an open and easy opportunity for any online site to gain a competitive edge. Train staff before putting them on the phones. Continue to train them on a regular basis to make certain they are up-to-speed on all the issues they’re likely to face. Make sure that commonly encountered issues are discussed with customer service staff in training sessions so that learned lessons are shared.

Regularly audit performance of customer service staff to identify issues that need to be addressed as part of an ongoing training program. A routine audit program will also assist in identifying top performers as well as those who are deficient even after repeated training.

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