In a recent major national survey of customers conducted by Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, 85% of the respondents said that good telephone courtesy on the part of businesses makes a lot of difference in willingness to purchase goods and services from them.

And almost half of these consumers indicated that they've refused to do business with companies because they received poor customer service over the phone.

The worst offense was being put on hold immediately when calls were answered:

And use of an automated attendant was the second biggest peeve: 62% reported they preferred to do business with organizations that use only real persons to answer their calls rather than listen to an automated attendant.

"But, says Nancy Friedman, President of Telephone Doctor, "it's not always the AA that's the frustration all the time...it's the frustrating phrase, "Your call is very important to me" that gets their goat!"

"The survey indicated that businesses should not underestimate the importance of providing good customer service over the telephone," said Nancy Friedman, president, and speaker at franchise, corporate and industry association meetings."

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