Facebook the best channel for retail customer service

Facebook is the number one channel for people looking to get answers from retailers' customer service in the UK, a new study shows.

According to the Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience study, Facebook is the channel through which retail customer service answers most frequently and most accurately, followed by email. Twitter came in third, with pretty poor results.

The study looked at 40 'leading' UK retailers, split into four sectors (food and wine, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion), and had sent them questions on the three channels, mimicking customer interaction.

The study says that UK retailers could successfully answer 59 per cent of questions asked via Facebook, 55 per cent on email and 45 per cent on Twitter.

Only 10 per cent responded on all three platforms.

Despite solid results over email, more and more retailers seem to be switching off from the channel. Today, 88 per cent of retailers offered email to non-customers, 10 per cent down from a year before.

Across the pond, the results are somewhat different. In the US, retailers answered, successfully, to 73 per cent of emailed questions, 54 per cent of questions on Facebook, and 20 per cent on Twitter.

Things aren't looking good for the micro-blogging site, on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Retailers on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be adopting fundamentally different strategies when it comes to customer service,” said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and co-founder, Eptica. “What the Eptica research demonstrates is that retailers in the UK and US are focusing on specific channels, rather than adopting a truly multichannel approach that delivers high levels of service, whatever the customer’s channel of choice. Companies need to learn from each other and deliver a consistent experience if they are to thrive in increasingly global markets.”