Channel-hopping challenges retailers

6th Apr 2017

The Institute of Customer Service’s January 2017 UK Customer Service Satisfaction Index Retail (Non-food Sector) report found that “website” experiences now account for 32.7% of customer interactions. Alongside this increase, more consumers are interacting with retailers across more than one platform – such as online and via mobile, or using a website and a social platform such as Facebook. 

For overall customer satisfaction, the sector scored 85.9, the highest of any industry, compared with the UK average of 79.7. And it also received the highest net promoter score of 39.7, well above the UK average of 13.9.

This has led to rising consumer expectation of the service levels they receive from retailers: a study by the retail software firm Eptica found that 69% of consumers had higher expectations than previously. 

However, retailers are failing to deliver consistent service and messaging across multiple channels. Eptica’s research found that only 7.5% of retailers respond to customers through web, email, Twitter and Facebook, and only 2.5% are able to provide their customers with a consistent answer across all four channels. 

In turn, this has led to a drop in consumer satisfaction levels: only 47% of customers surveyed said that they were happy with their experience interacting with a retailer across web, email, social media and chat. 

Oliver Njamfa, CEO and co-founder of Eptica, points out that 93% of customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand if their service experience is good. “Consumers today demand a high-quality experience from retailers – whatever channel they use to make contact. They value having a real-time conversation, yet too many retailers are letting them down, settling for average service at best, rather than delivering an experience that will drive long-term loyalty,” he says.

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