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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 23, 2015

Email customer service response times lengthen, Twitter improves

A new study from Eptica reveals that retailers' response time to answer Twitter queries has improved, but that email response times have lengthened by 8 hours.

by Helen Leggatt

There has been much discussion about the slow response times experienced by consumers via social media. It's a channel via which most believe a quick response should be forthcoming. It would appear that retailers have been listening and are upping their game on Twitter. Eptica's 2015 Multichannel Customer Experience Study found that Tweets are now being answered in an average of 4 hours and 5 minutes, more than twice as fast as in 2014 when the average response time was 13 hours and 10 minutes.

However, the study also found that the average time taken to answer queries submitted via email has lengthened by a whopping 8 hours since 2014 to a new average of just short of 44 hours.

The number of Tweets successfully answered has also risen by 10% to 43%. This remains less than those successfully answered by email despite successful email answers dropping from 63% in 2014 to 58% in 2015.

However, both email and Twitter continue to suffer in terms of performance.

While nearly all (98%) of retailers provided an email channel through which consumers might contact them, less than three-quarters (73%) answered email messages received. Furthermore, 15% were found to provide responses that didn't answer the question.

While 88% of retailers had a presence in Twitter, 45% ignored queries, suggesting "insufficient resources" had been allocated to the channel for which there was growing demand.

"With ecommerce sales breaking the £100 billion mark in 2014, digital channels are now central to the success of retailers, whatever sector they are in," said Julian Sammells, Sales Director UK & Ireland, Eptica. "Unfortunately the 2015 Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study found that there has been little improvement in how retailers are performing compared to 2014, with a major drop in email speed and wider gaps between best and worst. Retailers need to evaluate how they are performing for digital customer service and invest accordingly to ensure they are ready for the future demands of Christmas 2015."

PiXXart /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, ecommerce, email, social media

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