Customer Behaviour

The UKs top retailers saw a 46% increase in Tweeted complaints and customer queries on Black Friday, according to social analysis conducted by customer experience platform Zendesk.

 The analysis covered the full Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, comparing it to the previous weekend. During this online shopping glut 74% of the @ mentions the UK’s top retail brands saw were customer service related, made up of negative experiences or customer service questions.

 “Black Friday has become a shopping phenomenon in the UK, but for retailers this busy time of year can be a double-edged sword,” commented Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, VP EMEA at Zendesk. “With a huge spike in sales opportunities, comes a tidal wave of customer enquiries and issues.

A third of those who shop online encounter issues, with customer queries shooting up over 40% (Zendesk survey 2016). Whether it’s failing sites, poor delivery or faulty products, so many of us take to social media to air our grievances – clearly even more so when a deal is at stake.”

Zendesk analysed @ mentions on Twitter for the UK’s top 10 online retailers by revenue. The list included giants such as Amazon, Tesco and John Lewis and looked at the number of customer service questions and complaints these brands dealt with over this period.

The most common complaints were down to missed deliveries, being put on hold, call-backs that never came, issues with ordering and being told something was in-stock when it was sold out. The most common words for customer service queries and complains over this period were ‘service’, ‘wait’, ‘delivery’, ‘order’ and ‘call’. The top hashtags included #customerservice, #poorservice # blackfriday #badcustomerservice and #disappointed.

Neutral or negative customer service related tweets, increased by over a third (36%) during 5-day period around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Overall customer service tweets, including positive experiences, increased by about a quarter (26%).

“Customer expectations around service have skyrocketed and social is quickly becoming the first place that customers turn for answers. Hiring a bus load of customer service staff to handle the holiday increase is just not feasible for many businesses so they need to take a proactive approach,” commented Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, VP EMEA at Zendesk. “

Businesses should look hard at the most common requests over this period and use that data to fuel a self-service strategy for next year. According to our research the vast majority of customers prefer solving problems on their own. Giving them the tools to do so is a win win: you eliminate the peak period volumes and give your customers a better experience.”

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