Data from customer communications platform, Gnatta, show that customers are moving away from Twitter for customer service queries, favouring webchat and Facebook (including Facebook messenger) as the preferred means of communication with brands.
Gnatta processes more than two million conversations a month on its platform, and works with brands including Missguided, ASOS, Yodel and AO.com.
In the run up to Christmas, contact via webchat is up 143% on last year; and contact via Facebook (including Facebook messenger) is up 150% on last year.
This is at the expense of Twitter enquiries, which is down 17% on last year.
Surprisingly, perhaps, email contact is increasing, up 10% on last year.
Gnatta data also shows that 6-9 January will see pre-Christmas levels of people contacting retailers’ customer service teams, as people return unwanted Christmas gifts.
While the biggest sales happen between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, it is the first full week of January that sees customer service teams dealing with huge volumes of calls, posts, emails and messages from people who want to return or exchange items.
Data projections indicate that refunds and returns are expected to make up 27% of queries in January, closely followed by order queries at 22%. Order queries typically drop to around 10% in February.
““People might use Twitter to complain about a company and get a quick resolution, but Facebook is increasingly the social media winner for customer service,” says Jack Barmby, Gnatta’s founder and CEO. “People expect a quick resolution, and webchat and Facebook provides that instant messenger communication. Email is traditionally the slowest resolution channel for a customer query, but its adoption by a surprisingly large number of millennials shows it still has a place in providing great customer service.”
Barmby continues: “January is the new Christmas as far as customer service is concerned. “Retailers may not shift as much stock in January, but they have to increase their customer service levels to cope with higher demand following the explosive Q4 sales activity. Increasingly brands are seeing those presents given under the tree, returned once the family have gone home again in January.