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BizReport : Email Marketing : October 07, 2013

Email customer service response times too long

Today's consumers expect answers - fast. Social media has facilitated this need for speed but, according to new research from customer service solutions firm KANA Software, many companies are taking far too long to reply to email communications.

by Helen Leggatt

Waiting more than eight hours for a response to a customer service email enquiry seems an extraordinary long time to wait in this digital, customer-centric, age. But, according to new data collected by KANA Software from a survey of Call Centre Association member, 59% of companies take eight hours, or more, to respond.

Research into the times taken to respond to customer service enquiries via social media reveal that this channel is, by far, the speediest way to get answers. However, as Steven Thurlow, head of product strategy for KANA Software, points out, email remains an important customer touchpoint within customer service and should not be sidelined.

"Social customer service is very much the 'now,' yet the vast majority of customers still, and will for the foreseeable future, choose to interact with organizations via email," he said. "It need not become a second-class citizen to more modern digital channels but, rather, email can fill a dedicated role within robust and highly responsive customer service strategies."

Earlier this year, research from Conversocial revealed that social media is now seen by consumers as one of the most important points of contact when dealing with retailers online. To this end, 81% of companies are now responding to consumers' customer service requirements via Twitter and 80% on Facebook. Half of companies are resolving all customer service issues on social, without redirecting them to another channel such as email or telephone.

While being in the social space is satisfying consumers' needs to interact directly online via mobile or Internet, Conversocial's research also found that response times weren't meeting expectations.

While more than half of consumers expect to get a response via social media in under two hours, the average response time across all 100 retailers on Twitter is a lengthy 11hours 15 minutes. Just 20% of companies fell into the time period acceptable to consumers, while 19% did not respond at all.

Six percent of retailers were on the ball with a response being forthcoming within half an hour.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, email marketing, response management, social media

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  • Clearview

    Great article, another reason why customers prefer to email their concerns is to avoid the hassle of calling and waiting in the line for 30 -45 minuteness to get to talk to a live reason, only social media can get the attention of the public same as the company. I agree that some company doesn't care at times so i guess flooding them the concern that you want to be answered will do the trick.



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