Consumer Service Response Times [study]

Customer Response Times 2013When consumers have an issue with a company that needs to be resolved, a leading 92% say that it’s important that their problem is taken seriously, according to a new study from Steven Van Belleghem, in association with SSI and No Problem. Right behind that, though, they want speed – with 9 in 10 saying that this is important. But expectations differ regarding how quickly issues are responded to when sorting by contact channel. Consumers hold their highest expectations for the phone, with 86% expecting a response within 4 hours when using it. However, 55% expect a response within 4 hours when using Facebook or Twitter.

That’s a significantly higher proportion than expect that speed when submitting contact information on a website (44%) or sending an email (39%).

Research has shown in the past that phone response times impact consumers’ brand preferences, and it’s logical that consumers hold high expectations for a quick phone response. But they might be disappointed by response times on Facebook or Twitter: despite many companies who use social for customer service claiming to respond to issues in less than 4 hours, recent research isn’t kind to those claims. In fact, according to Socialbakers data from Q1:

  • Only 38% of questions posed to brands’ Twitter profiles were answered, and it took an average of 6-and-a-half hours for those responses to come; and
  • 60% of questions posed to brands on their Facebook pages were answered, but response times averaged almost a full day.

According to Van Belleghum’s research, though, just 2% of respondents (who hail from 10 countries) turn to social networks to resolve an issue, a significantly smaller proportion than other research has claimed, at least for the US and UK.

About the Data: The study was conducted in April 2013 by Steven Van Belleghem, data supplier SSI and translation agency No Problem. The study involved 2,750 consumers. 275 were interviewed in each of the participating markets (Singapore, Brazil, the US, Russia, China, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium). The sample is representative based on gender and age.-MarketingCharts

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