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Retailers fail to maximise Facebook communications, says report

More than half of leading fashion retailers do not provide customer service details on their Facebook pages and more than a third did not respond to a customer query via direct message, research has found.

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The survey, which reviewed the UK Facebook pages of 50 clothing, footwear and accessories retailers between November 2015 and January 2016, found that 86% had direct messaging enabled on their Facebook pages.

However, 36% of retailers did not respond to a message, multichannel consultancy Practicology reported. 

It said that 56% of the retailers surveyed did not include customer services information such as an email, phone number or details of a customer services app on their pages.

The report found that 60% of retailers responded to messages that asked simple questions. More than half (52%) used the customer’s name and 14% signed off with the name of the customer agent in their response. More personalised responses included kisses (8%) and emojis (4%). One UK retailer replied at 2am, which was 16 hours and 57 minutes after the initial enquiry.

Most retailers (78%) used a call to action button – for example, asking customers to “shop now” (74%) or “contact us” (4%).

The response time for queries also varied greatly: 12% replied within 30 minutes and 6% took more than a day.

“With customers increasingly expecting a seamless customer experience, the line between social media and retail is becoming blurred,” said Practicology social media consultant Amanda Haxton.

“Consumers expect the same experience, product knowledge and service when they engage with your brand on a social platform as they would if they were speaking to a member of staff in a store.”

Among the retailers that did not provide an email, phone number or customer services app on their Facebook page were:
  • Ben Sherman
  • Coast (although the retailer told Drapers it offers a customer chat facility)
  • Evans
  • Jigsaw
  • Oasis
  • LK Bennett
  • Moss Bros
  • Next
  • Superdry
  • TM Lewin

Retailers offering good customer services information:

  • AllSaints
  • Matalan

Retailers offering a holding response to customer enquiries:

  • Moss Bros
  • Zara

Source: Practicology

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