Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, John Mertic, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Twitter least effective customer service channel for UK brands, according to new study

Eptica research of top 100 companies finds customer experience 'average' across web, email and Twitter

Reading, 25 March 2014: 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 according to a new study. Only 39% of companies were able to answer customer service questions asked through Twitter - despite 76% of organisations now being contactable through this channel.

The Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study, released today, 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 organisations have removed the opportunity for non-customers to email them. Nearly a third (29%) of companies were uncontactable 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 4 minutes.

"The web, email and social media are fast becoming the channels of choice for consumers, yet the biggest brands in the country are struggling to cope," said Olivier Njamfa, CEO, Eptica. "In particular, when it comes to Twitter companies are playing a dangerous game by establishing a presence and then failing to engage with customers. This could well backfire, leading to negative feedback spreading through the social network and damaging their overall brand. Companies need to focus resources to deliver a consistent, high level and above all, fast, customer experience across every channel if they are to win and retain consumer loyalty and appeal to today's demanding customers."

The in-depth 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 down 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.

For the third year running fashion retailers led the way, successfully answering 79% of questions via their web sites. However, 36% of the top 100 companies scored worse than in 2012, with entertainment and electronics retailers bringing up the rear, answering just 52% of questions asked via the web. Gaps are opening between best and worst - nearly a third of companies (32%) failed to answer more than half of the 10 basic questions they were asked online, yet 22% scored eight or more. There are major differences in performance, even in the same sector. For example, one entertainment retailer scored 100%, yet two competitors just 20%.

For the first time, the research looked at consistency across multiple channels, and uncovered a piecemeal approach to service. Just 12% of companies gave a consistent response to the same question asked through email, Twitter and (where available) web chat. Several directly contradicted themselves on different channels, with one company giving three diametrically opposed answers on email, Twitter and web chat.

Many companies that were strong on one channel were weak on others - for example electronics manufacturers answered an average of 70% of questions asked on the web, but just 30% of emails or tweets. In contrast telecoms companies responded successfully to 60% of tweets, but just 10% of emails.

There is also a shrinking choice of channels available to non-customers looking to contact organisations. Just over half of companies (55%) offered two channels (normally email and Twitter) alongside their websites, but 5% provided no way of contacting them through digital channels, forcing potential customers to pick up the phone to find out information.

"Our research shows that, for most companies, the idea of multichannel customer engagement is a distant dream," said Olivier Njamfa, CEO, Eptica. "Many appear to have focused resources on particular channels, ignoring others. This not only risks alienating customers but actually pushes up costs, as they run silo-based, inconsistent, channel by channel activity that is more expensive than a single, multichannel operation."

Web chat was the final channel surveyed and provided the greatest accuracy (93.5%) and fastest response, with an average conversation time of just 4 minutes and 29 seconds. However, just 7% of companies offered reactive chat, despite industry studies showing that it increases efficiency, helps sales and is well-accepted by consumers.

Sector2013 % answered online (position)2012 % answered online (position)
Fashion Retail79% (1st)75% (1st)
Consumer Electronics manufacturers70% (2nd)55% (6th)
Travel68% (3rd)63% (2nd)
Utilities66% (4th)60% (3rd)
Banking64% (5th)41% (8th)
Telecoms63% (6th)56% (5th)
Insurance57% (7th=)48% (7th)
Food retail57% (7th=)40% (9th)
Electronics Retail52% (9th=)58% (4th)
Entertainment52% (9th=)40% (9th)

Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study methodology
In total 100 company websites across the insurance, travel, entertainment retail, food retail, electronics retail, consumer electronics manufacturers, utilities, fashion retail, telecoms and banking sectors were evaluated in three areas in Q3 2013:

  1. For their ability to answer ten basic, sector-specific questions via their website, such as "What is your returns policy if I change my mind after purchase?" (retailers) and "How do I cancel my contract?" (telecoms suppliers)
  2. On the speed and accuracy of their response via the email, Twitter and web chat channels
  3. On the consistency of responses across email, Twitter and web chat

The full Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study, which includes a detailed sector by sector breakdown of performance and full analysis, can be downloaded from http://www.eptica.com/Multichannel-study-2014-Press.html

An infographic illustrating the results is available at http://www.eptica.com/IMG/jpg/The_Eptica_Multichannel_Customer_Service_Study_Infographic.jpg.


About Eptica
Eptica is the European leader in multichannel and multilingual customer interaction management software, covering the email, web, social media, web chat and agent channels. Available on premise or as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, Eptica's suite enables organisations to improve engagement with customers, increase efficiency and drive sales by delivering fast, consistent and personalised responses to their queries, through their channel of choice.

The Eptica customer engagement platform is designed around a central knowledgebase, powerful workflow and Eptica Linguistic Services™, advanced linguistic capabilities that enable organisations to quickly understand the tone, sentiment and context of digital interactions and automatically deliver personalised service.

Today, more than 400 organisations across all industries and in 15 countries rely on the power of Eptica's platform. They include Axa, Dixons, Domestic & General, AirAsia, Hastings Direct, L'Occitane, TUI, Debenhams, Capita and Ageas Insurance Solutions. Eptica's continuing innovation and strong performance has resulted in the company's inclusion in Gartner's 2012, 2011 and 2010 Magic Quadrants for Web Customer Service.

For more information visit www.eptica.com, connect with us on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or read our blog.

For further information, please contact:
Measures Consulting
Chris Measures +44 (0) 7976 535147 / [email protected]
Uday Radia +44 (0) 7940 584161 / [email protected]

Source: RealWire

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today’s global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...