UK consumers are wasting both their own and brands time filling Twitter streams with questions which could have been answered by a simple glance at the brand’s website.

So say the results of the latest research commissioned by self-service knowledgebase vendor Transversal, which found that of the 1,616 questions posed at a sample of top brands over the course of a week, nearly a fifth (18.4%) were answerable on the website’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

The research, which analysed the questions directed by UK consumers at the Twitter accounts of 50 top global brands* during a week in October, highlighted an ongoing disconnect between the information resources offered by brands and the channels used by consumers to find them. Amongst the most frequent questions asked of brands on Twitter were those about product availability, complaints process and troubleshooting – all information that is typically held on FAQ pages.


Example answerable questions included:

         @adidasUK what time does your Oxford St store close on Sunday?

         @AmazonUK I've pre-ordered a day one edition of the #xboxone, is it possible to change delivery address for it without effecting my order?

         @eBay_UK I've experienced the worst customer service. How can I get in touch with complaints department?

         @HSBC_UK_Help I have lost my card and secure key, what do I need to do?


Though Amazon emerged as the most interrogated brand, receiving more than double the number of tweeted questions (343) compared to the next highest Twitter accounts – Adidas and HSBC – HSBC had the most answerable questions (34) over the week, followed by Nintendo and Sony.

“As the importance of customer service continues to grow, today’s consumers are in the fortunate position of having more ways to get in touch with brands than ever before,” said Sharon King-Livesey, Head of Global Marketing at Transversal. “As brands invest more and more in their multichannel strategies, consumers should recognize that sometimes it is quicker to do the work themselves and self-serve. Take Twitter, a great tool for interacting with your favourite brands but it might not always be as instant a communication method as you think.”

*Brand sample taken from the Interband Best Global Brands 2013 ranking.

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