Research from Econsultancy, a publisher of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce, has found that despite one in three consumers citing the telephone as their preferred channel for customer service, 48% also find it the most frustrating.

In a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, the telephone was voted three times more frustrating than email and eight times more frustrating than live chat.

In a clear sign of the demand for excellent customer experience, one in eight consumers even said they would be happy to pay a fee in return for a superior level of service.

The Econsultancy research sought to unearth consumer views on multichannel customer service. The findings provide a clear picture of how brands are struggling to coordinate channels and eliminate customer frustration.

Despite the phone being the most established channel for customer service, 61% failed to identify it as the most effective channel when trying to contact a UK brand. When asked about the reasons for phone frustration, respondents cited queues, automated responses and premium rate numbers.