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Hanging on telephone a pain for bank customers

By David Young

Infuriated customers spend more than half-an-hour trying to contact their bank on average, an analysis of social media postings has suggested.

Views expressed in tweets become more angry and agitated as the waits extend, according to the research carried out by Adoreboard.

The analytics firm based at Queen's University in Belfast uses complex mathematical algorithms to detect the emotions of people posting online.

It analysed 67,000 tweets by customers with accounts at 22 banks over a six-month period.

The company's data scientists said when the subject of the tweet was to do with call wait times, feelings of disgust increased by 84%, with anger increasing by 74%.

The research found that while delays on the phone caused severe annoyance, technology issues related to mobile banking apps and problems with banking websites also generated considerable frustration.

The firm claimed its study enabled banks to pinpoint the scale of anger related to their phone and technology support services.

The social media audit found the average wait between June and December last year was 35 minutes, with some customers waiting more than an hour for a response.

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