Facebook and web lead the way for UK customer experience – email and Twitter lag behind

New Eptica study finds 89% of consumers will switch brands if trust breaks down

Reading, UK, 21 March 2019 – UK brands are undermining consumer trust and risking revenues by failing to deliver consistent, multichannel customer service, according to the 2019 Eptica Digital Trust Study.

While brands answered 69% of all routine queries via the web, email, Facebook and Twitter, this masked wide gaps between different brands, sectors and channels. For example, a bank took 8 days to respond to an email. One fashion retailer answered a tweet about ethical sourcing policies in 17 minutes, yet another took 50 hours.

Trust is increasingly central to customer relationships. 89% of consumers surveyed said they either will stop buying from brands that they don’t trust or will spend less. Around half (49%) said they would switch immediately. Building trust begins with delivering on basic promises – 59% ranked giving satisfactory, consistent answers as a top three factor in creating trustworthiness, while 63% rated making processes easy and seamless as key.

The web was the most accurate and comprehensive channel for customer experience, with brands answering an average of 75% of routine queries. It was followed by Facebook, where brands successfully responded to 57% of questions (nearly doubling from 30% in 2017). This was significantly ahead of Twitter (45%), despite the channel’s reputation for delivering customer service.

Email brought up the rear. 37% of brands satisfactorily answered a basic question, with average speed ten times slower than social media. Chat continued to grow in importance, with 44% of brands claiming to offer it – yet just 26% had it operational when tested, a slight improvement on 2017’s 24%.

The Eptica Digital Trust Study builds on research first conducted in 2012 by customer experience software provider Eptica. It combined real-world evaluations of 50 brands in five sectors with consumer research on attitudes to customer experience and trust. Evaluation questions included asking about multi-policy discounts (insurance), ethical sourcing policies (fashion), changing a booking (travel), cancelling debit cards (banking) and allergy labelling (food and drink).

“Brands face multiple challenges when it comes to customer experience,” said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and Co-Founder, Eptica. “Consumer expectations are continually rising, while the volume and complexity of queries and interactions are growing. Trust is crucial to engagement and loyalty, but the 2019 Eptica Digital Trust Study shows that many brands are falling at the first hurdle, with their inability to get the basics right undermining reputation and revenues.”

Accuracy 2019 versus 2017

Speed 2019 versus 2017


75% vs 66%