Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

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.

-ends-

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.

Cloud Expo Latest Stories
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems and the inventor of cloud billing panelists, will lead a panel discussion on what it takes to launch and manage a successful recurring revenue business. The panelists will offer their insights about what each department will need to consider, from financial management to line of business and IT. The panelists will also offer examples from their success in recurring revenue with companies such as Audi, Constant Contact, Experian, Pitney-Bowes, Teleko...
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your development arsenal and pick up a few strategies to apply to your own projects.
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the right cloud model can help your business economically overcome the data struggle.
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic institutions across the United States and Canada. TechXtend is the Exclusive Reseller in the United States for r-evolution