`Your Call is Important To Us’ Probably THE Most Annoying Phrase Ever

The latest from the ABI;

Being kept waiting on the telephone is the top frustration for customers when dealing with organisations according to an ABI-commissioned survey out today. Next comes automated call options, followed by unhelpful staff, then hard to understand terms and conditions. The findings come as the ABI joins forces with consumer group Fairer Finance who have produced guidance to help insurers and long-term savings providers further improve their customer communications. 

The survey, conducted by Yonder Consulting, asked 2,000 adults about their experiences in dealing with government departments, local authorities, energy suppliers, insurers, banks, mobile phone networks, broadband providers, online retailers and supermarkets. 

Key findings highlight that: 

·      Long call waiting times was the top frustration, with 30% citing it as their pet hate and 61% putting it in their top three annoyances. Next came automated phone systems (46% in their top three annoyances), then unhelpful staff (34% in top three annoyances). 

·      A third of people struggle to understand the terms and conditions of products and services. 

·      Dealing with government departments proved the most frustrating with 43% having encountered difficulties, followed by local authorities (34%), and energy suppliers (33%) 20% said they had experienced some difficulties when dealing with insurers. Supermarkets scored best, with only 5% having faced difficulties.  

·      On insurance specifically, over half (57%) said they felt confident in getting the best deal. However, nearly half (48%) said that they found it difficult to fully understand insurance terms and conditions, with 37% saying that clearer, simple documents would be the one single change that would improve their dealings with insurers. 

Fairer Finance’s guidelines ‘Demystifying Clear Communications’ covers all aspects of insurer communications with customers, including email, text, and policy documents. It includes references to good practice by insurers and long-term savings providers.  

Recommendations include: 

·       All sentences to be under 29 words. 

·       Average words per page less than 400. 

·       Use of at least three colours. 

·       Minimum font size and line spacing. 

·       Minimal jargon. 

The ABI is encouraging members to incorporate the guidance into all aspects of their consumer communications. 

Hannah Gurga, ABI Director General, said: 

“Whatever the organisation, simple, clear straightforward customer communications is the bedrock for improving trust. This research shows that some sectors need to do more to improve how they interact with the public. Many insurance customers know how to get the best insurance deals, but more needs to be done to ensure insurance and long-term savings communications are as clear as possible.  

“The industry is committed to ensuring customers understand what they are covered for and are confident that the product meets their needs. Fairer Finance’s report is a valuable additional tool to help firms further improve their relationship with customers. The ABI will be using it to ensure that our consumer materials are fit for purpose.” 

James Daley, managing director of Fairer Finance, said: 

 “Clear communication is essential in every industry – but no more so than in the complex world of financial services. Although many firms fear that it will be an impossible task to write simply and without jargon, there are now a growing number of examples of terms and conditions and letters which have low reading ages and are accessible to all.   “This report provides firms with practical steps that they can take to simplify their documents and online journeys. We hope our partnership with the ABI will empower many more companies to embed clear language and design in all their communications.”  

About alastair walker 11377 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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