Article

Julien Hervouët
Julien Hervouët 5 January 2016
Categories Customer Experience

Research Reveals That UK Customer Care Is Stuck In The Dark Ages

iAdvize research finds UK consumers want community chat and they want it now.

iAdvize announces research which indicates that email support offered on websites is a big turn off for eCustomers, and that new and more fashionable customer service channels - live chat and community chat - are succeeding it as the CRM solution for building loyalty.

As online retailers nationwide hope to cash in on the expected Christmas sales surge which is predicted to hit £17.7 billion this year, online customer care is stuck in the past - where 91% of UK eCommerce companies still use a contact form or email query service to deal with customers’ questions.

One in three UK customers (32%) are dissatisfied with email response speeds and favour live chat and emerging peer-to-peer support alternatives. Users now expect and prefer real-time communication methods over traditional channels such as email. Speed and ease-of-use were named as key factors for satisfaction with live chat receiving the highest rating (87%).

The report also reveals community chat is gaining favour as a new way for brands to involve their online brand communities in providing real-time support to other users. This is an online chat solution via which experienced users of a particular brand, so-called ‘brand advocates’, can share advice about a product or service with website visitors.

Almost one third of respondents (29%) said they were inclined to make a purchase as a result of a tip from a brand advocate. Brand advocates were deemed equally as helpful as professional agents here. Whereas community chat received positive feedback across all sectors, it was most likely to be used in trend-led sectors, such as electronics (60%), travel (55%) and DIY (48%). In the last years, eCommerce has increasingly taken a larger proportion of consumer time and spend, with 1 in 4 UK residents (28%) buying online at least once a week.

Nearly three out of four (73%) of UK shoppers purchase online several times a month with people aged 25-44 leading the pack. Unsurprisingly, the rise in online shopping has created an increased demand for customer care and 29% of respondents said they had abandoned their shopping basket due to lack of support.

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