Twitter and Facebook have been ranked as being the the worst channels for retail customer service, with performance worsening since 2017, both damaging consumer trust and hitting retail sales. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

The 2019 Eptica Digital Trust Study evaluated the customer service provided by leading UK fashion and food retailers, and questioned consumers on their attitude to retail customer experience. It found that:

  • Retailers successfully answered just 38% of routine questions sent to them on Twitter (down from 50% in 2017)
  • They responded to 50% of Facebook messages (up from 28% in 2017)
  • By contrast they answered 68% of emails successfully (down from 73% in 2017)
  • The best channel for customer service was the web, which provided 83% of answers
  • Overall, across the web, email and social media the retailers evaluated successfully answered 59% of queries, up from 55% in 2017. Fashion (60%) was slightly ahead of food and drink retailers (59%).
  • Speed varied widely. Facebook was 2x as fast on average as Twitter, and 15x faster than email - despite the same question being asked on all channels!

Showing the impact of poor service, 59% of consumers ranked giving satisfactory, consistent answers as a top three factor in creating trustworthiness - and 89% of consumers surveyed said they either will stop buying from brands that they don't trust or will spend less.

A total of 20 fashion and food & drink retailers were evaluated on their digital customer experience, by testing their accuracy and speed at answering relevant, routine queries. Questions included asking about ethical sourcing policies (fashion) and allergy labelling (food and drink). 1,000 consumers were also asked for their views on their customer experiences.