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30 Mar 10:00 GMT / 06:00 EST

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Only 39% of companies answer customer service questions asked through Twitter

The average response time to a customer service question on Twitter is eight hours and 37 minutes, the Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study found.

Looking at 100 companies, it was found that 39 per cent were able to answer customer service questions asked through Twitter - despite 76 per cent of organisations being on the channel.

“When it comes to Twitter companies are playing a dangerous game by establishing a presence and then failing to engage with customers,” warned Olivier Njamfa, CEO of Eptica. “This could well backfire, leading to negative feedback spreading through the social network and damaging their overall brand. The web, email and social media are fast becoming the channels of choice for consumers, yet the biggest brands in the country are struggling to cope.”

While emails were more likely to lead to a successful response (41 per cent), nearly a third (29 per cent) of companies were uncontactable by email.

On average it took 61 hours and 39 minutes (nearly three whole days) to get a response via email.

Just over half of companies (55 per cent) offered two channels (normally email and Twitter) alongside their websites, but five per cent provided no way of contacting them through digital channels.

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