A slow response to customer-service e-mails could be extremely damaging to UK businesses, according to a survey commissioned by Fasthosts Internet.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
A survey of 1300 consumers by Tickbox revealed that a slow response to a customer's e-mail would lead to 89% of customers switching to a competitor.
More than 90% said they would be more loyal to suppliers that responded swiftly to e-mail enquiries.
As many as 78% said they had been disappointed by a slow response to e-mail, with the average consumer sending three e-mails before receiving a satisfactory response.
About 30% said they had sent more than ten e-mails about a single customer service enquiry and more than 30% said they regularly waited three days for a reply.
The research showed the average consumer was willing to wait only 24 hours for a reply, with 19% abandoning their enquiry after only 12 hours.
The second highest complaint was about receiving unhelpful automated replies, with 65% saying they had been affected by this.
The majority of e-mails from consumers to businesses involved large companies, but one in three consumers said they were disappointed by the response from smaller companies.
A further survey of 500 UK small businesses found that one in five SMEs had received a complaint specifically about their slow response to e-mails, and 56% had no policy in place concerning their response time.
Mark Jeffries, CTO at Fasthosts Internet, said, "While most [businesses] recognise that e-mail is an important form of communication with their market, the majority remain misinformed about the kind of effects that poor e-mail practices can have on their business."