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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 04, 2015

UK brands fail to improve customer service response rates

The latest customer service research from Eptica reveals that brands in the UK are failing to improve their customer service offerings with almost half of questions asked by Twitter, email and web channels going unanswered.

by Helen Leggatt

In their 2014 research, Eptica found that two-thirds (63%) of questions asked via email, 60% of those asked on websites and 33% of queries via Twitter were successfully answered by brands.

Have things changed much in the interim? Not really.

Their latest 'Multichannel Customer Experience Study', released this week, evaluated 100 leading UK companies and found that the situation is, if anything, somewhat stagnant.

The percentage of questions successfully answered on company websites was up this year at 64%, and was the best-performing channel, followed by Twitter (41%) and email (39%).

"Twitter is coming of age as a customer service channel with more questions answered accurately through social media than email for the first time," says Eptica.

However, it's not all bad. The speed with which emails and Tweets are answered has significantly improved. Average response time for email has gone down by more than half from 61 hours 39 minutes in 2014 to 29 hours and 29 minutes.

The fastest response times were via Twitter where the average dropped from 2014's 8 hours 37 minutes to 5 hours 27 minutes. Although, it appears that speed does not equal accuracy with 11% of fast email and Tweet replies failing to answer the initial question.

"Companies are facing an enormous growth in the number of queries they receive from consumers, across an ever-increasing range of channels," said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and co-founder, Eptica. "Many are struggling to cope, with some essentially switching off entire channels and focusing their efforts on one or two. Rather than multichannel, we're seeing a growth in unichannel as companies cut back. This is short-sighted - customers want to be able to use their channel of choice, not be forced into particular methods of communication. Centralizing customer service and sharing information between channels is essential for brands if they want to meet consumer needs and deliver fast, accurate service that underpins business growth."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brand marketing, customer service, email, social media, UK

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