NEWS21 March 2016

Customer queries on Twitter often ignored

News UK

UK – On the day Twitter celebrates its tenth anniversary, a survey has found companies still have work to do accepting and accommodating the social media platform for customer service queries. 


One quarter ( 23%) of all customer queries on Twitter didn't receive any response according to a mystery shopping report, Twystery, from BDRC Continental which sent 9,875 tweets to 395 brands  in 32 markets. The survey assessed the brands’ response rate, speed and quality.

Only 41 ( 10%) of the 395 brands tested responded to every tweet, scoring a response rate of 100%. They include AirBnB, Aviva, Boots, Gatwick Airport, Holland & Barrett, Nationwide, O2, Screwfix, Sky, Virgin Atlantic and Wickes.

Eight brands –, Klipsch Audio, Netflix, Nokia, PayPal, Puma, Slazenger and Stansted Airport didn't respond  to any customer service queries via Twitter.

The brands that scored best in terms of rate, speed and quality of response were: Nationwide (credit cards), Aviva, Great Western Railway, Co-op Bank (credit cards) and First Direct (insurance). The top sectors were: banks, credit cards, rail, retail – DIY and airlines.

Aviva performed best overall; it responded to 100% with a quality score of 86% and an average response time of 51 minutes.  Virgin Trains had the fastest average response time of just over four minutes. At the other end of the scale the slowest average response time went to Capital One with almost 53 hours.

Tim Barber, director at BDRC Continental, who leads the Twystery mystery shopping programme said: “Companies have had plenty of time to learn how to use Twitter effectively to handle customer queries and complaints. We believe that a decade on, responding promptly should be basic housekeeping for the UK’s biggest brands. But to meet customers’ increasingly high expectations of the service they receive, the response must be useful, provide the information needed, and address the question or complaint in an appropriate manner."