Airship

Who cares? UK retailers ignoring four out of every ten customer service calls

Tim Green

A new report has just revealed the state of UK customer care – and it's not good.

The Convers-AI-tional Nation Report, conducted by customer engagement platform CM.com, found that 42 per cent of customer queries to leading UK retailers go unanswered. It also revealed that just 13 per cent were answered in full and in a timely way.

The study analysed the performance of the UK’s top 25 retail brands by posing common customer enquiries via various channels: website, telephone, email, online contact form, chatbot, call back, voice bot, live chat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram.

The questions ranged from simple FAQs like ‘how can I make a complaint?’ to more specific queries such as ‘how can I return an item?’.

Next, M&S and B&Q performed best. They all offered eight or more customer service channels, with questions being answered more efficiently and effectively than brands with fewer channels available. Overall, the study found that just eight per cent of the retailers audited offer customer service support via a human agent 24 hours a day.

James Matthews, Country Manager, UK & Ireland at CM.com, believes automation is the key to improving response rates. He said: “Automating customer service with chat bots is one option for brands to scale their operations during the Black Friday and peak retail period, enabling them to handle popular questions around shipping times and stock levels efficiently.

"Another option for brands is to combine both human agents and AI chatbots. Having this in place should no longer be considered as simply nice to have, but seen as an opportunity to drive significant return on investment and long-term loyalty."