We are now in the second half of 2015 and results of the latest customer surveys are now being released. One such survey was by the Northridge Group conducted among 1,017 adults in the United States in March 2015.
The report states the results of a poll about customer expectations and experiences with customer service issues during the past year. Below are the key findings in the report.
- One-third of consumers who contact a brand on social media never get a response.
- More than 40 percent of consumers expect resolution within one hour when using social media as a customer service channel.
- One-third of consumers who have used social media for customer service say the channel does not meet expectations.
- Forty-seven percent of people plan to use social media next year the same or more than they currently do as a customer service channel.
- Of all channels, social media has the lowest percentage of issue resolution and follow-up, with only 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
- An equal number of consumers (22 percent) use social media to share positive and negative experiences about a brand.
- More than twice as many consumers use social media as the primary channel for making comments (8 percent), questions (7 percent) and complaints (6 percent) over problem resolution (2 percent).
- Sixty-three percent of consumers have to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before a customer service inquiry or issue is resolved.
- Despite the immediacy of social media, only 13 percent of consumers get a response within minutes.
- Only 2 percent of consumers use social media for urgent customer service issues.
- Twenty-six percent of consumers turn to social media when they can’t reach a rep through another channel—the highest of all reasons—indicating that many use social as a last resort.
- The phone is by far the most popular contact channel for urgent issues, with 77 percent of consumers calling companies with urgent issues or inquiries.
- Two-thirds of consumers (66 percent) say the phone is the fastest channel for issue resolution, followed by online chat (15 percent) and email (10 percent).
The above findings indicate that although social media is being used by customers to voice their concerns, the phone is still the channel that provides the fastest resolution.
Eptica, a global provider of multichannel customer interaction software, also conducted a study evaluating 100 leading UK companies since 2011. It studied 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 chat”. The study revealed that “UK brands are failing to improve the state of UK customer service and that “Twitter overtakes email for fast, accurate customer service for the first time in 2015”.
The other key findings of the study are as follows:
- Companies successfully answered just 48% of questions asked on the web, email and through Twitter.
- On the average, 64% of questions were answered by top 100 UK companies online in 2015, and increase from only 50% in 2011.
- Just 2% of companies offered Twitter, email, and chat.
- 44% of companies only answered on Twitter or email. 15% failed to respond on either Twitter or email and only 11% gave consistent answers on multiple channels.
- Average response time on Twitter is 5 hours and 27 minutes, while on email it is 29 hours and 27 minutes.
- Fastest Twitter response is 2 minutes, while fastest email response is 9 minutes.
- Chat offered 89% accuracy but is underutilized. Only 9% companies had it though 26% claimed to offer it.
All these findings just goes to show that while there is a growing use of social media for customer service, there is still much for companies to improve on.
Customers are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of issue resolution. Companies must be able to improve on their customer service strategies to cater to these demands.