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BizReport : : November 02, 2012


Play.com: Younger consumers seek customer service via social

While many UK consumers turn to email or the telephone for customer service, a new study from Rakuten's Play.com reveals younger consumers are more likely to turn to social.

by Helen Leggatt

In a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, commissioned by Rakuten's Play.com, differences between the generations are revealed. When looking for help from a company's customer service team, almost half (49%) said they made contact by email and 43% picked up the phone.

However, among younger consumers, the tendency was to air their grievances in a more public space - social media. Rakuten's commissioned research found that 46% of consumers age 24 and under use social media to solve customer service issues. That figure drops to 33% among those age 25-33.

The research also revealed differences in expectations from customer service. Among consumers age 25-34, speed of response was the biggest complaint with 33% saying help through their preferred channel was too slow. Among the over 45's, the local language fluency of customer service teams was the main concern.

Director of Marketing at Rakuten's Play.com, Adam Stewart, explains how Rakuten's UK business will be bringing a style of Japanese service, Omotenashi, to their retail and customer service business model.

Omotenashi could be translated as 'hospitality' in English but it is said that in Japan the word describes a much deeper level of hospitality. It is anticipating the needs of a customer, or guest, in advance - going beyond expectations.

Tags: consumer survey, customer contact, customer service, email, retail trends, social media, telephone










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