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BizReport : Email Marketing : March 03, 2016

Study: Social beats email for customer service

When it comes to answering questions or resolving issues, email is no longer the go-to. According to new Eptica data social media is where UK consumers turn for customer service - in fact response rates on both Twitter and Facebook were faster than brands' email customer service channel.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers with The Eptica Multichannel Customer Service Experience Study also found that the average wait-time for consumers to get an emailed response was just over 34 hours; they also note that only about two-thirds of businesses offer email support to non-customers. On the other hand, social media wait time decreased; on Twitter wait times went from from 5 hours 27 minutes (2015) to just over 4 hours.

"Brands are under growing pressure to deliver a consistently high quality experience to customers, however they choose to make contact," said Derek Lewis, UK & Ireland Sales Director, Eptica. "The sheer volume of queries and the fact that customer expectations are continually rising is having a definite effect on the performance of many companies, particularly on the email channel. Some are forging ahead, while others are falling behind, with a consequent impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenues. Just 51% of all queries were answered satisfactorily. Overall, consumers are as likely to get a useful response as they are to correctly call heads or tails on the flip of a coin."

Other interesting findings from the report include:

• 66% of customer service questions are answered via the web
• 18% of brands 'answer accurately' via only one channel, even if they offer customer service via additional channels
• 69% of businesses 'fail to provide' consistent customer service between email, social media, chat and online channels

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, email marketing, Eptica, social marketing

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