Telecom operators are doing a miserable job of using email for customer service.
Only 53% of telecom firms provide an easily accessible email address, according to Customer Service Benchmark report, a global study by Netomi.
Worse, 65.3% of email requests sent by Netomi were completely ignored. Only 28% of the firms responded to a straightforward question about opening a new account, and 6.8% sent an auto-reply only.
Want a fast reply to your customer query? Hopefully, you’ll be among the 21% who hear from one of the top 1,000 telecoms in one day.
And don’t expect them to tell you when they do plan to follow up — 66% failed to do so.
This type of performance leaves customers with “little confidence that a resolution would be followed up on,” the study notes.
Netomi used Apollo.io’s database to identify the top 1,000 global telecom firms. Of those, it was only able to glean 527 email addresses.
It sent emails to those firms, and received 147 responses.
Of companies that replied to emails, 46% did so in less than six hours. And, including those, 57% did in 12 hours.
The U.S. firm GoWireless was the fastest responder, at four minutes. Next were Canada’s Beanfield at five minutes, Nobelbiz from the U.S. at seven minutes.
They were followed by Skynet, Canada, at nine minutes and Thurava from the United Arab Emirates at 10 minutes.
But 55% provided a poor response, versus only 19% that did an exceptional job. And a puny 6.1% of the responding firms sent surveys to gauge customer satisfaction.
And don’t bother sending requests on weekends — firms were 5.5 X more likely to respond in six hours on weekdays. The average weekend response time was 26.8 hours, versus 11.2 hours during the week.
But 75% of firms that prioritize email respond within the first day.
Personalization appears to nee some toning up. Of the total, 44.9% provide a personal greeting and signoff. And 18.4% sent a personal signoff only.
But 4.1% used a personal greeting. And 32.6% had no personalization.
“Because we defined personalization as the bare minimum, we expected this to be much higher,” the study says.
To determine the quality of a response, Netomi created a Support Performance Index (SPI), featuring a 100-point scale.
Roughly 60% of the firms score 24-50 points, and the average SPI ranking is 49.1.
The top performing companies were:
Netomi also created an Answer Quality Index (AQI). It found that almost 20% gave exceptional responses, reaching an AQI between 81 and 100 points. But 55% scored below 20: The average score was 33.
That said, firms that scored high on it — i.e., those that responded in 6-12 hours — also tended to do well on the SPI
Finally, Only 4% showed empathy in connection with COVID-19.
The most empathetic companies? Only one was in the U.S.: