THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Sports & Leisure
The Papers
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
Study finds email black hole in online customer service

A new study has found that less than half of websites and email channels are able to answer basic customer service questions.


Study finds email black hole in online customer service

A new study has found that less than half of websites and email channels are able to answer basic customer service questions.

The 2011 UK Multichannel Customer Service Study revealed an  email black hole with less than half of companies (48%) correctly answering questions posed over email, 47% not acknowledging receipt of the email and one in four (27%) failing to respond at all.

The in-depth study by Eptica, the multi-channel customer interaction management software, looked at how customer service performance was faring at 100 leading UK organisations with regard to their ability to answer simple routine questions via email and their website. It also identified whether they had integrated their customer service with social media.

The report found that as websites were only able to provide the answer to 50% of enquiries on average, consumers were being forced to contact companies via email, but this by no means guaranteed a better service.

The time it took to respond to emails varied massively with the longest answer taking five days (120 hours), and the average time taking 20 hours and 41 minutes. Only 28% of companies were able to provide responses within their own specified timeframes. However, receiving a fast and accurate response is possible with one company responding with within three minutes.

Dee Roche, european marketing director at Eptica, commented: “This report signals a wake-up call for the industry.  Customers don’t want to feel as if they’ve disappeared into a black hole where their voice is not being heard.  Some of the findings, particularly in relation to the lack of responsiveness via email are unforgiveable.  Damage to a brand, high customer churn and lost sales opportunities can all be avoided if the company develops an integrated and consistent approach to its online customer service.”


Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News


Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Conference
The HR Summit 2019
The HR Summit 2019
8 October 2019
Hallam Conference Centre, London W1W 6JJ
The 11th HR Summit 2019, Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam St, Marylebone, London W1W 6JJ
AI in Retail Conference 2019
AI in Retail Conference 2019
16 October 2019
Cavendish Conference Center, London W1G 9DT
Digitally native competitors and demanding customers are forcing a new perspective in retail. AI and machine learning can help you step up to the challenges; and some ‘small and beautiful’ solutions can increase your conversion rates within just a few weeks.
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
5 February 2020
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy