Digital customer service still has room for improvement

With global brands like Amazon driving customer expectations higher and higher every year, how do other organisations match up to their high standards on their digital channels?  According to the 2017 “State of UK Digital Customer Experience” Report conducted by digital customer experience software provider Eptica, there is still considerable room for improvement among the 100 leading companies researched across the UK.  Their research covered websites, email, Twitter, Facebook and chat.

Busy Social Media Teams

Increasing numbers of customers are turning to social media to get a speedy resolution to a customer complaint but the inhouse Facebook and Twitter teams are struggling to manage the high volume of enquiries.  According to the Eptica research, only 34% Twitter messages and 35% Facebook messages  were answered successfully compared to 48% for Twitter and 45% on Facebook from the previous year.  Businesses need to face up to the reality that more customers will use social media for customer service issues and these teams will need to be resourced accordingly to meet their customer needs.

More Live Chat is happening

Gone is the day where we patiently queue on the telephone to wait to speak to a customer service adviser.  Instead we happily hit the Live Chat button and type our enquiry to the adviser while we continue to answer emails or put the kettle on.  Today 49% companies surveyed are using Live Chat but it is not always available to their customers which has a negative impact on the customer’s experience.

Faster digital response times

More good news about digital customer experience – businesses are getting faster at responding to customer enquiries.  Live Chat is still the fastest at 2 minutes but Facebook has crept into second place at 3 hours 25 minutes knocking Twitter back to third place at 4 hours 57 minutes.  There is a significant improvement in email response times too which are now 26 hours 23 minutes.

  • Emails

    2016        34 hours 15 minutes

    2017        26 hours 23 minutes

  • Facebook

    2016        8 hours 37 minutes

    2017        3 hours 25 minutes

  • Twitter

    2016        4 hours 14 minutes

    2017        4 hours 57 minutes

  • Live Chat

    2016        7 minutes 40 seconds

    2017        2 minutes 14 seconds

It is therefore clear that organisations are expanding their teams to deal with online customer service to meet changing customer behaviour.  But their delivery of customer service needs to be equally efficient on all digital channels eg a customer email should be replied to as quickly as a Facebook post.  The digital customer experience may be getting better but there is still room for improvement.

The full copy of the report is available on the Eptica website.

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