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Retail Brands Fall Short of Consumer Expectations on Social Media

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 15:48 by Simon Crisp

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A survey conducted by Eptica which looked into the way that social media platforms are being used by retailers to deal with customer questions and complaints has found that many of the biggest retailers are failing to take full advantage of such services.

Just over a third of the queries made to 20 of the nation’s most prominent retail chains via Twitter were answered in a satisfactory manner, according to the report. This is actually a drop-off in performance compared with a similar study carried out two years ago.

Things are a little better on Facebook, where half of the questions posed to branded accounts get successfully settled.

Email seems to be the best option for customers who want to find a solution to any complication that occurs during safe shopping online, since two-thirds of cases get a relevant response.

Analysts also found that there is a difference in the average amount of time it takes for customer queries to be responded to by retailers. Facebook is the quickest of the bunch, while email is the slowest, which is in keeping with the traditionally more relaxed nature of this long-established digital communications platform.

It seems that the immediacy of social media provides the benefit of speed at the cost of customer satisfaction. Those who want to get their questions answered in a way that meets expectations should stick to email, while those who are in a rush can turn to Facebook or Twitter but may not like the responses they receive from UK retailers.

Social media is still a relatively young technology in the world of customer service, so consumers can expect that as time passes retailers will get a lot better at fielding queries and accepting feedback through this medium.