email customer service

Just 11% of people expect to receive customer service via social media

An inevitable consequence of the push to achieve sales through multiple channels is that businesses must also be prepared to deliver multichannel customer service.

Poor levels of service can ruin the overall shopping experience and mean that the customer is lost forever, so online, in-store, mobile and all other channels must work together to deliver an excellent overall customer experience.

New research from eDigitalResearch examined how consumers prefer to contact companies and then compared the various response times and satisfaction levels.

The survey asked more than 2,000 UK respondents how they expect to be able to contact a business – 92% selected email, followed by telephone (71%) and by post (45%). Fewer than one in four (22%) said live online chat and just 11% said social media.

23% of top UK businesses don’t supply an email address to non-customers

Almost a quarter of the top 100 UK businesses fail to provide an email address to non-customers, according to a new report from Eptica.

The 2012 Eptica UK Multichannel Customer Experience Study analysed the responses of 100 organisations via the web, email and social media channels, replicating research conducted in 2011.

In many cases results have deteriorated since 2011 – more than a quarter (28%) of companies performed worse this year despite being asked exactly the same questions through the same channels.

And the situation appears to be particularly bad for email customer service. As the penetration of smartphones increases email is becoming a more important method of communication.

Etailers need to pay more attention to email customer service

I read with interest that Ryanair was the subject of a recent EU decision, thanks to its failure to provide an email address as a customer contact option. 

While it’s important that companies selling online should provide customer service by email, retailers should make sure that customers can easily find an email address, and that responses are within a reasonable time. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and many online retailers have plenty of room for improvement in their email customer service. 

Figleaves tops e-commerce usability survey

Thanks to some excellent marks for customer service, lingerie retailer Figleaves was rated the top performing e-commerce site in a study covering the Christmas shopping season. 

The eRetail Benchmark Study from eDigital found that, though marks were relatively high for website usability across the board, customer service was the key differentiator. 

Some highlights from the study…