Almost half of customer service calls fail due to contact centre background noise


Almost half of customer service calls are abandoned due to contact centre background noise, with 42% hanging up immediately when they detect the noise.

That’s according to the team behind IRIS Clarity, the AI-powered voice isolation app, which surveyed 1,000 consumers across the UK and US around their interactions with contact centres. The results are compounded by the fact that while all respondents indicated they use voice channels in some way for their customer service inquiries, more than half (54%) said they only use it for critical issues — making voice a premium that is demonstrably failing to deliver.

The research identified repetition as a key frustration for consumers, with ‘how to spell my name’ (45%), address and postcode (43%), and banking information (36%) as the most frustrating information to repeat on the phone.

Noise around the agent isn’t the only problem — the caller’s location also has an impact on the call’s success. The majority (59%) of consumers have hung up a call because they felt they were in an inconvenient location due to background noise. The most inconvenient places that respondents have made an important call include public transport (39%), the street (36%), when out socialising (34%), and at a place of work (31%).

“In an ideal world, consumers would phone a call centre agent and there wouldn’t be any background noise on either side,” said Jacobi Anstruther, Founder and CEO of IRIS Audio Technologies. “But this simply isn’t the case. We know the power of voice and the survey results clearly show that ignoring its potential has significant ramifications on the customer and contact centre experience. The immediate abandonment of half of contact centre calls due to noise should raise red flags with contact centres everywhere, if only because it’s a huge operating expense. With its real-time and bi-directional capabilities, voice isolation software like IRIS Clarity can ensure both customers and agents can hear each other clearly, in order to get the outcomes they each need.”

These findings come fresh off the heels of IRIS Clarity’s newest whitepaper, The Role of Audio in an Increasingly Digital World, which investigates the impact of poor audio across call centres globally, as well as enterprises, healthcare, and education.