BrandsEye’s UK Social Customer Service Index found that a significant portion of customer service requests goes unanswered by leading UK brands on a daily basis. This includes valuable customers who are threatening to cancel, new customers looking to purchase and existing customers looking for help, according to the UK Social Customer Service Index.
- 44% of Twitter conversation analysed was categorised as priority conversation that required brands’ urgent attention or action.
- Approximately 25% of priority conversation went unanswered by brands on Twitter.
- UK organisations must adapt and empower their social customer service teams to implement responsive and prioritised systems to best serve their customers.
For consumers across the UK, digital channels are fast becoming the preferred method to interact with brands. The concurrent growth in consumer expectation for better service and a preference for digital channels led BrandsEye to assess whether household UK brands who pride themselves on serving millions of customers were leading or lagging in the pursuit of responsive and effective social customer service.
BrandsEye analysed consumer tweets about ten organisations across five industries: banking, insurance, media, retail, and utilities. The industries and organisations were selected to reflect brands that Britons interact with, subscribe to and buy from on a day-to-day basis. By selecting two brands per industry, this analysis provides a dipstick measurement of social media customer service in the UK. Twitter data conversation was selected for analysis as this data is publicly available.
From 1 September to 30 November 2019, 567 544 public tweets were collected about Barclays, Monzo, DirectLine, LV=, BT Telecommunications, Virgin Media, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, British Gas, and Ovo Energy.
The study found that 44% of consumer tweets were categorised as priority conversation. 25% of these tweets went unanswered.
Commenting on the findings, BrandsEye Chief Executive, Nic Ray said, “UK brands are simply not meeting customer expectations. The primary challenge for brands is the identification of priority customer conversation to respond to within the noise of the social media landscape. Too many organisations still rely on systems that do not filter incoming social media conversation. As a result, brands are not delivering the speedy service expected, damaging reputation and losing customers in the process.
Brands ranked from best to worst for response rate and time
Priority conversation flow maps
BrandsEye’s Index contains detailed priority conversation flow maps. The flow maps are designed to illustrate a brand’s response rate to inbound priority conversation from customers. The analysis only looked at responses to the customer’s first post or “head post” in a conversation thread. It includes both direct (mentions brand handle) and indirect (does not mention brand handle) customer interactions.
Virgin Media’s Priority Conversation flow map. All the brands’ maps are contained in the full report.
“As digital channels like Whatsapp business and Twitter gather more traffic as the preferred channels for customer service, UK organisations must adapt and empower their customer service teams to implement responsive and prioritised systems to best serve their customers. For Gen Z and Millennial digital natives, these channels are preferable to interacting with call centre agents as they provide consumers with convenient asynchronous engagement that suits their schedule, and for interaction with brands at the point of experience,” Ray added.
To analyse the brands’ sentiment with a 95% confidence level and an overall margin of error of 0.53% a random sample of 31 847 tweets were processed through BrandsEye’s Crowd of human contributors for evaluation and verification.
In order to ensure that only customer service interactions were analysed, BrandsEye’s Crowd of human contributors identified four priority conversation tags: risk, purchase, cancel and service. These tags identify, from within all of the social media noise, the conversation that pertains to conduct in the market, customer experience and customer service. Conversation which was not tagged with these four tags was deemed irrelevant and excluded from analysis.
Risk conversation poses an immediate risk or relates to a market conduct regulatory framework. Purchase conversation is from prospective customers who want to buy a product or service. Cancel conversations are from customers looking to cancel a subscription or leave a brand. Service mentions are from customers that require service or are describing their experience of receiving service.