According to a new study, many UK companies are still struggling to deliver adequate customer service through the web, email, social media, and web chat channels, with Twitter performance particularly patchy. Only 39% of companies were able to answer customer service questions asked through Twitter, despite 76% of organizations now being contactable through this channel.
The Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study evaluated 100 leading UK companies on their ability to provide answers to 10 routine questions via the web as well as their speed and accuracy when responding to email, Twitter and web chat, repeating research carried out over the past two years.
The study reveals that consumers were more likely to get an accurate answer via email than Twitter, with 41% of companies successfully responding to email. However, more and more organizations have removed the opportunity for non-customers to email them. Nearly a third (29%) of companies were not able to be contacted by email, compared to just 13% in 2011.
On average it took 61 hours and 39 minutes (nearly three whole days) to get a response via email, a minor improvement of 3 hours from last year. Eight out of ten sectors answered email slower than in 2012. In contrast the average response time for Twitter was 8 hours and 37 minutes, although one company replied in just four minutes.
The study, carried out by multichannel customer interaction management software provider Eptica, found that the most accurate mainstream channel was the web. Companies were able to answer an average of 63% of questions asked on their websites (up from 53% last year). Much of this improvement was attributed to increased use of web self-service software which lets visitors find their own answers to their queries, with over half (53%) of companies now deploying these solutions.