Three in four Brits snub retailers with slow customer engagement

British consumers will use a different retailer if they don’t receive a timely response from customer service, a new study shows.

More than three quarters of UK consumers (79 per cent) will use a different retailer if they don’t receive a timely response from customer engagement, according to cloud services provider Interactive Intelligence Group. Furthermore, more than half (54 per cent) will share negative feedback online or via social media if they are unsatisfied.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers, commissioned by Interactive Intelligence, examined their views on brand loyalty, customer engagement and preferred channels of communication with retailers.

The research finds that more than 90 per cent of shoppers claim a reply to an enquiry within an acceptable time frame will impact their satisfaction with retailers. Nearly nine in ten (87 per cent) say that the availability of preferred communications channels, such as social media, also impacts their satisfaction and brand loyalty with the retailer.

‘Ensuring that customers receive an informative and timely response is key to driving satisfaction,’ says David Atherton, director of customer experience at online electricals retailer,

Atherton adds, ‘At, we’ve gone a step further by deploying advanced contact centre technology that provides answers to customer questions they haven’t even asked yet. For example, when a new order has been placed, we know that the person calling probably wants to find out about their delivery time.

‘We provide the answer automatically as soon as the call comes through, which has resulted in a large decrease in call traffic to agents. We also know a customer’s order history, previous conversations with agents, and ratings for our site and any past issues.’

The research shows that almost half (47 per cent) of UK consumers expect an immediate response to web chat and text enquiries. More than three quarters (77 per cent) of shoppers expect a response in under 30 minutes to social media enquiries, and only two per cent assume an answer to an email should take longer than 48 hours. It’s clear that retailers need to respond quickly, whatever the communications method.

Dave Paulding, regional director for Interactive Intelligence comments, ‘Having the data to know, understand and compare customer details is imperative to success. Every brand has data, but not every brand uses it effectively.

‘Retailers can benefit from technology such as cloud-based solutions that can far more effectively handle big data analysis across all interaction types. This will ensure timeliness and consistency across every channel which will give customers the best experience possible.’

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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