Some of the largest businesses in the UK are not living up to expectations for online customer service.
Among the worst performance by the Top 100 companies in the UK was on social media where more consumers are expecting to be able to interact with brands.
The survey by Eptica found that big brands only answer 44% of customer enquiries effectively on email, the web, Twitter and Facebook.
Little more than a third of enquiries on Twitter and Facebook received a successful answer despite most brands advertising their Twitter handles and Facebook pages.
“Brands today face a growing challenge when it comes to customer experience,”
Olivier Njamfa, CEO and Co-Founder, Eptica highlighted the challenges faced by brands, especially as the volume of enquiries online escalates sharply.
“Consumers are ever-more demanding, and expect fast, high quality and informed conversations with brands if they are to remain loyal. However, our research shows that many brands are finding it difficult to cope with the sheer volume of queries they receive, particularly on social media.”
The report suggests that firms need to ensure that they follow the trend being set by consumers for customer service to be delivered effectively online.
Consistency is a real concern with one company responding to one enquiry in just 2 minutes on Facebook and Twitter but taking more than 3 days to respond to the same enquiry by email.
“Failure to dedicate sufficient resources to customer experience, or to deploy new technologies such as artificial intelligence to support staff will ultimately hit the bottom line, as consumers switch to rivals who offer them the service they demand,” concluded Njamfa.
Although the Eptica study focused on the largest businesses, there is an important takeaway for even the smallest operators.
If you are putting yourself out there on multiple platforms, your customers will expect to be able to contact you there – and have you respond.
If that’s something you aren’t able to do, then at the very least make it clear how and where those enquiries should be made.