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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 26, 2014

Study: UK brands find Twitter ineffective

Brands may like it when customers call them with questions or problems related to their product purchases, but consumers don't like making that call. Data supports that more and more shoppers are turning to websites, email and even social networks for customer service contacts. Still, finds research, brands are struggling to create effective customer service options in the online space.

by Kristina Knight

New data out from Eptica underlines the problems many UK brands are having with customer service in the online space - namely that online efforts are found 'ineffectual' by consumers. According to the Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study email is more effective than Twitter when it comes to customer service - but nearly one-third of UK businesses no longer have email options. Other interesting findings from the report include:

• On average email responses took more than 61 hours (3 days)
• On average Twitter responses took more than 8 hours
• Brands were able to answer only about 63% of questions asked via their websites
• Fashion retailers were more responsive, answering 79% of questions

"The web, email and social media are fast becoming the channels of choice for consumers, yet the biggest brands in the country are struggling to cope," said Olivier Njamfa, CEO, Eptica. "In particular, when it comes to Twitter companies are playing a dangerous game by establishing a presence and then failing to engage with customers. This could well backfire, leading to negative feedback spreading through the social network and damaging their overall brand. Companies need to focus resources to deliver a consistent, high level and above all, fast, customer experience across every channel if they are to win and retain consumer loyalty and appeal to today's demanding customers."

While most areas did show improvement in the times it took to answer customer queries the research shows consistency is a problem for many brands. In fact only about 12% of UK brands offered 'consistent responses' across all channels.

"Our research shows that, for most companies, the idea of multichannel customer engagement is a distant dream," said Njamfa, CEO. "Many appear to have focused resources on particular channels, ignoring others. This not only risks alienating customers but actually pushes up costs, as they run silo-based, inconsistent, channel by channel activity that is more expensive than a single, multichannel operation."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, Eptica, social marketing, social media ads, twitter, twitter ads

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