Customers want support that is fast and free according to the latest report from iAdvize

September 16, 2015


  • Over two thirds (68%) of online shoppers feel that a quick response is the most important aspect of good customer service; 56% state that free support is also key
  • Over half of satisfied online shoppers (62%) have or would be willing to respond to questions from other users within a community chat facility
  • Almost a third (29%) of online shoppers have abandoned their basket in the past due to lack of available support; customer service is vital to the digital shopping journey

Over two thirds (68%) of shoppers feel that a quick response is the most important factor when it comes to customer service, according to the new UK Customer Service & Support Market study from iAdvize and independent research partners eDigitalResearch.

The report reveals that, when looking to contact a company for support, most consumers (56%) would prefer touch points that are free of charge. Predominately, consumers often look to contact a company during the order and payment process of their online shopping journey, with 64% stating that they’ve tried turning to online support in the past to track their order.

Online purchasing is a key part of the UK shopping journey; 1 in 4 (28%) of respondents stated that they buy at least once a week online. However, more worryingly for retailers, over three quarters (77%) of the online consumers surveyed have abandoned their online basket in the past, 29% of which felt it was a direct result from a lack of available support, demonstrating the importance and need for accessible and comprehensive support for online shoppers.

The results also highlight that over half (62%) of online shoppers who are satisfied with a purchase either have or would be willing to answer other shoppers’ questions within a customer chat support community*. With an increasing need for communication throughout the customer journey, a brand advocate within a community chat facility enables consumers to ask for advice from a reputable source at times where professional agents may not be available.

Analysis also found that consumers view brand advocates as equally helpful as professional customer service agents. In particular, one third (29%) of shoppers feel that a receiving tips from a brand advocate would likely encourage them to make a purchase, compared to 26% who said the same about professional agents; an additional 27% feel that both professional agents and brand advocates carry equal weighting and 17% were unsure.

In an age when communication is key to strengthening customer relationships it’s easy to see why brand advocates can help retailers deal with the growing need for support.

Julien Hervouët, CEO at iAdvize, comments, “This research into the expectations of UK customers online highlights the popularity of real-time support be it in the check-out funnel or when researching a product. It is also interesting to note that 83% of respondents consider the use of community chat as relevant when asking questions about a product; consumers like to hear from “peers” as they know their feedback is more objective”.

Derek Eccleston, Global Commercial Officer at eDigitalResearch, comments, “The latest report on the UK customer service and support market suggest that the faster and cheaper a company makes it for a customer to contact them, the more satisfied they are likely to be. Having friendly advice available from both experienced users and professional agents at all touch points throughout the customer journey could realistically help retailers minimise all-important basket abandonment rates”.

For a copy of the full report, please complete the following short registration survey.