Twitter and Facebook are the worst channels for fashion retail customer service

Fashion retailers are doing more to respond customer queries via Twitter and Facebook than companies in other sectors, but they are still failing to acknowledge the link between social media responsiveness and customer trust.


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New research by Eptica said fashion retailers successfully answered just 50% of routine questions sent to them on Twitter last year, down from 70% in 2017. They also responded to half of Facebook messages, up slightly from 45% in 2017.

Failing to provide answers can have a strong impact on trust, with 89% of those surveyed saying they would either stop buying from brands they don’t trust or would spend less.

Shoppers are using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to ask brands questions about their returns policies and ethical sourcing practices.

“The move to digital has transformed the retail landscape,” said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and co-founder at Eptica. “Greater choice means consumers are becoming more demanding and are actively seeking out brands that they can trust and who listen to them. While retail brands have made some improvements since 2017, they have slipped back in others, damaging trust and ultimately customer loyalty and revenues. If they want to succeed they need to listen to customers and use their insight. Only those who do this will thrive and stay ahead of the competition.”

The best channel for fashion queries last year was the web, which provided 83% of answers. Fashion brands also answered 55% of emails successfully.

A further look into speed of response showed great discrepancies across channels. Overall, Facebook had the fastest average speed of response at 43 minutes, 24 seconds, two times as fast as Twitter (1 hour 56 minutes) and nearly 15 times faster than email (10 hours 19 minutes). But there are also disparities across brands, with one fashion retailer answering a tweet in 17 minutes, while another took 50 hours to reply.

The report studied 50 UK brands including fashion, food and drink, travel, insurance and banking companies, and surveyed 1,000 UK consumers on their attitude to trust, their relationship with customer experience and on loyalty and trust reputation.

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