Facebook is the UK’s Favourite Customer Service Channel
According to a study from Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience, Facebook is now the UK’s favourite way of contacting customer service teams, with email a strong second.
According to the study, Facebook is the channel used most frequently, and the one in which retail customer service teams answer the most frequently, and the most accurately. Email followed up, with Twitter doggedly taking up third place, albeit poorly.
Looking at 40 top UK retailers, the study first split them into four sectors for easier analysis – food, drinks and wine; consumer electronics; fashion; and entertainment – the sent them all customer service related questions on the three contact channels, acting like customers in need of assistance.
Of the questions asked, 59% of those asked via Facebook were answered effectively. 55% of those asked by email were answered similarly well, making the gap between the media quite a narrow one, but the gap between email and Twitter was greater – of the questions asked on the microblogging site, only 45% got answers at all. Perhaps tellingly, only 10% of businesses answered on all three platforms.
In the US, however, the attitudes shown to social media are markedly different, and far more polarised. The 40 US retailers chosen for the study answered emailed questions 73% of the time, 54% of those sent in via Facebook, and only an abysmal 20% of those sent via Twitter. That the US should be so behind on Twitter may be indicative of different attitudes concerning it – or, more likely, it may just be a function of the sheer volume of tweets being sent to US firms every day. With a population many times larger than the UK’s, American retailers have many, many more tweets to get to and may be simply more likely to ignore many requests.
However, no matter which country you’re in, Twitter seems to be in increasingly hot water with retailers and customers alike. “Retailers on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be adopting fundamentally different strategies when it comes to customer service,” said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and co-founder, Eptica. “What the Eptica research demonstrates is that retailers in the UK and US are focusing on specific channels, rather than adopting a truly multichannel approach that delivers high levels of service, whatever the customer’s channel of choice. Companies need to learn from each other and deliver a consistent experience if they are to thrive in increasingly global markets.”
Despite email being successful across the board in this study, only 88% of retailers offered it as an option to new customers, which may seem like a lot – until you consider that last year, a full 98% offered the same option.
It’s clear that attitudes to social media and customer service contact channels are changing. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether the channels used now can adapt in time to remain relevant in a changing world, or if they’ll be replaced by something newer and more universally capable of getting the response the customers want.