UseDesk RESEARCH
Customer support through e-mail and social networks
Researh e-commerce services and online shops in Russia

1
Research Method
Anatoly Vladimirov asked 100 online shops and 317 e-commerce service providers
the question
Hello! Tell me, how long does the delivery take? Help me to place an order!
I need to arrange delivery for today.
To online shops
Hi! Please, tell me where can a customer see the price? What is the procedure for signing the agreement, and how long it takes.
To e-commerce service providers
100 online
shops

With turnover from 1 to 20 million rubles per month.
317 e-commerce services

Internet acquiring, CRM, logistics, platforms for creating online stores.
4 support channels

E-mail, feedback form, Facebook, Vkontakte.
Working
hours

We send messages from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

2
It would be better to call
Half of the approached players didn't answer Anatoly's request.
Thus, it seems e-mail is not the main channel for communication with customers.

What if the support went to social networks?

3
Support on social networks
Online shops try to be closer to customers on Vkontakte.
For the reason that their customers are mostly companies which are used to solve operational issues via e-mail or phone, e-commerce service providers do not consider social networks as a support channel yet.

4
Messengers? They are unheard of
«The penetration of mobile messengers in 2014 in Russia reaches 78%»
J'son & Partners Consulting
«Post-Facebook generation migrates to the mobile messengers»
Forbes
However, only 3 out of 317 companies responded viaTelegram.

Companies tend to ignore the trend and therefore don't provide support via messengers.
Therefore this niche is open!
It is hard to solve a problem with via messengers, because we use Avaya and our goal is supporting all channels through the one solution with common statistics about agents' results. And we should be looking for the software solution for this issue. Now there is no solution for messengers.
Sergey Bednev, head of customer department, furniture hypermarket Hoff
We don't provide the customer support in Telegram yet, but the idea is very appealing. This method of communication, due to speed, should significantly reduce the load on human resources, which often works recurrently with the same type of requests. Many e-commerce services are absent in Telegram and it this can be explained by the fact that the development of the bot that provides necessary information for users takes a lot of time, and no one wants to launch such a crude product on market. I think that by next year the advanced courier services will teach bots to talk about the status of an order and clarify the pick-up point addresses. .
Svetlana Nechaeva, courier service TopDelivery

5
Is online support provided through social networks?
No. Companies don't answer quicker via social networks than via e-mail. One-third of online stores responded on Facebook at best within twenty-four hours.

6
Is there any value for support through social networks?
The best score was 4 points.
The evaluation of social networks is average – at first glance, everything appears normal.
Online shops' activity on Vkontakte is fiction
A third of online shops refuse to provide support via VKontakte, with all the customers being forwarded to deal with via phone or email.
There are many causes for this. For example, one of the reasons why companies prefer not to treat but to forward the stream to phone or email is the conflict of interests between related departments: marketing, sales, IT support, logistics. In order to prevent the dispute inside the team – about how to count KPI and whom deserves the sales bonus – companies prefer to limit the influence from the customer side. I agree that it is not the most rational way, but it is still the fact. Often marketing specialists work with social networks, so the main goal is not the support, but fast reaction on request and forwarding to colleagues. That's why they use such common templates.
Olga Kuznetsova, Director Customer Relations Department at HeadHunter
It's better on Facebook!
The share of "forwarders" on Facebook is three time less than on Vkontakte.
Facebook users are more demanding and advanced, therefore companies tend to perform better there.


Many companies gave the pages in social networks to SMM agencies, which don't have a full understanding of business processes and neither access to CRM or ERP systems, therefore they can't make a great support. They can open the ticket, in the best case, or they forward the customer's question to another channel in the worst case. We decided that agents should have access to social accounts. We have the separate support team that can see all notifications about customers actions and immediately react on every request. At that they try to solve the problem and to provide the support.
Sergey Bednev, head of customer department, furniture hypermarket Hoff
On Facebook the audience is more demanding: if customers write on Vkontakte to "vent an issue", people turn to Facebook to solve the problem. On the official company' page from Facebook there are also statistics about the speed of response, which are forcing the company to react faster.
Svetlana Nechaeva, courier service TopDelivery

7
What are our evaluation criteria?

8
What about the quality
of the e-mails?
E-commerce service providers show the same level of performance via all support channels. However, online shops have proved to be dramatically worse in the e-mail support by 1.5 times!
What is the reason? We should find a pattern.
...the support agent can't always respond to the customer's question without delay, he sometimes needs time to consult with colleagues. And if the companies don't use a Help Desk solution or haven't established a SLA, producing a response can take weeks. And meanwhile the question may even be lost. Therefore, some of the e-mails remain unanswered.
Olga Kuznetsova, Director Customer Relations Department at HeadHunter
Instead of outlook

It is true for both shops and service providers


However, using a helpdesk doesn't affect the speed of response!
Why is a helpdesk necessary?
The quality of the e-mail support is almost 1.5 times worse at online shops with no helpdesk than at those with a helpdes.
Insight
The online shops with no helpdesk strongly contributed to the difference between the quality of e-mail support provided by e-commerce service providers and shops.

Companies that insist on delivering a great customer service use tools
for systematization and automation while dealing customer requests.


9
Top-10 online shops
PositionNameE-mailFacebookVKAverage
quality
Average
time
ChannelsRating
1
QUELLE30:04:0030:23:0030:22:003,000:16:203762
2
TECHPORT14:29:0040:11:0040:11:003,001:37:003678
3
ESKY30:20:0040:43:003,500:31:302671
4
OBI20:06:0042:44:003,001:25:002640
5
JUST30:24:0030:14:003,000:19:002609
6
Ulmart10:17:0031:10:0031:54:002,331:07:003609
7
Ozon22:19:0030:07:0030:01:002,670:49:003578
8
OTTO 30:05:0031:42:003,000:53:302573
9
Utkonos31:50:0030:26:003,001:08:002558
10
123.RU20:01:0030:03:002,500:02:002552
98
...381:22:0030:35:003,0040:58:302350
99
...11:05:002142:53:001,5071:59:002125
100
...174:55:001,0074:55:001100
10
Top-10 e-commerce services
PositionNameE-mailFacebookVKAverage
quality
Average
time
ChannelsRating
1
Brand Analytics30:17:0040:13:003,500:15:002733
2
Yandex.Delivery40:53:004,000:53:001718
3
Uniteller30:19:0030:31:0030:10:003,000:20:003703
4
GetResponse40:03:004,000:03:001671
5
Russian Post30:16:0030:02:003,000:09:002664
6
Payture40:12:0020:00:3040:20:003,330:10:503662
7
expertsender40:17:004,000:17:001656
8
Terrasoft40:20:004,000:20:001653
9
PUSHALL40:21:004,000:21:001652
10
LIVETEX31:04:0030:01:0020:03:002,670:22:403650
315
...12:06:001,002:06:001187
316
...118:15:001,0018:15:001100
317
...121:50:001,0021:50:001100

11
Conclusion
Fast and quality customer service both via email and social networks is a rare asset that almost no one knows how to deliver in parallel.
Here are the online shops and e-commerce services, that answered faster than 1 hour with the score of more than 3 points.
Speed and quality
This is what the e-commerce players need to improve in order to stand out among competitors.
Thank you for attention!
This research was made by Usedesk, the help desk solution for companies who take care of their customers.
Usedesk is focused to create the attentive customer support with personal touch, while solving problems without delays. Usedesk systematizes working with requests, rearranges communication within the customer care team and helps the support to speed up.


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