Organizations across the United Kingdom are increasing their customer service reach through social media.
Recent data from Eptica show that in 2016, brand managers answered customer inquiries more efficiently on Facebook (44 percent) and Twitter (48 percent) than by using email (38 percent).
Although email plays an important role in many organizations’ marketing initiatives, lagging response times have led customer service reps to use Facebook and Twitter more frequently.
Research by Forrester found that 41 percent of UK consumers would prefer a response to their email within six hours—a level of rapidity that only 14 percent of brands in the study achieved.
Here’s more from the study:
The email channel has become slower, less accurate and less available. Just 64 percent of companies (10 percent fewer than in 2015) made email available, and the average time to answer emails increased by nearly five hours.
The study revealed major differences in response times among discrete industries and channels. Close to 85 percent of brands were active on Facebook, well below the 95 percent with a Twitter presence.
Although Twitter ranked highest overall, depending on customer activity there were wildly varying methods of preferred contact for each of 100 participating brands. On Twitter, one tech-friendly organization responded to a customer question in two minutes—for an organization with a lesser digital presence, it took more than four days to answer the same question.
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As most UK consumers use Facebook and Twitter to interact with brand presences, an increased number of brand managers are logging on to meet this expectation.
“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,” says Derek Lewis, Eptica’s UK and Ireland sales director. “Brands are under growing pressure to deliver a consistent high-quality experience to customers, however they choose to make contact.”
As email use is dwindling, the study found that more organizations are installing chat functionality in their websites. Forty-four percent (up from 26 percent in 2015) have adopted this method of contact.
To interact with customers in the U.S., brand managers have been using a greater variety of social media channels, including Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
What is your organization’s preferred method of contact for customer service? Why and how do you use that particular channel?