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Customer Service – Customers’ Patience (or Impatience)
By Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D., President of Human Technologies Global, Inc.

A research study done by Dimension Data shows some interesting data regarding customer service. First, that Americans are impatient when waiting in queue and are quicker to abandon calls than anywhere else in the world.

According to this study, Americans are so impatient – they’re willing to wait only an average of 37 seconds for their calls to be answered before they abandon the call.

The rest of the world, however, exhibits greater patience:

Europe, the Middle East and Africa – customers are willing to wait 67 seconds
Asia-Pacific customers are the most patient – they’re willing to wait 72 seconds

What’s your average queue time? Your Average Speed of Answer? (do you know?)
Here’s some best practice statistics for you to compare yourself to.

Where are you? Are corrections needed? My caveat regarding statistics: Use them as guidelines, not hard and fast rules.

Another study--Five9, Inc.’s annual Call Center Customer Care Benchmarking Study-- reinforces the above highlighting the fact that companies would be well served by offering 24/7 support, shorter wait times, fewer transfers, and faster call resolution.

This survey included the following key findings:

  • 76% respondents said 24/7 support was important
  • 96% said a positive experience with a CSR would increase their sense of brand loyalty
  • 70% have changed products (or services) because of a bad experience with a CSR
  • 50% were dissatisfied with CSRs service when he/she was not well informed, or could not quickly resolve the issue
  • 35% were dissatisfied when hold time was too long
  • 25% were dissatisfied when required to provide a large amount of personal information prior to being helped
  • 91% reported being locked in a self service menu unable to request to speak with a live customer service agent

We suggest you use these statistics as guidelines for improvement.

And if you are going to benchmark, benchmark against yourself. Note your metrics as of a specific time and date, taking into account the time of year, seasonal if applicable, economy, etc. Then take that same measurement 3 months, 6 months, and/or a year later using as closely as possible the same variables and see whether you have improvement. If not, where are the gaps? Is it people, process, or technology that requires your attention?

About the Author
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D., industrial psychologist, President of Human Technologies Global, Inc., specializes in human performance management for contact centers, providing needs analyses, instructional design, and customized, live, world class customer service skills trainings.

Known as 'the practical champion of the human, she authors the best-sellers, Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub, 4th edition, Customer Service and The Human Experience and Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack You Personal Deck, and hot off the press How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: 101 Insider Tips as well as her popular ‘tips’ newsletter on How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch! available at Reach her at


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