UK Consumers Are Sick and Tired of ‘Brandmin’, According to Twilio Report

Frustrations with clunky brand admin is costing Brits £3 billion a year.

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Published: May 7, 2024

Rhys Fisher

UK consumers are losing their patience and money due to time-consuming brand admin, according to a recent Twilio study.

The findings reveal that 54% of customers have been left feeling frustrated, while 47% have become emotional due to brands wasting their time with arduous administrative tasks.

Worryingly, brand admin, or ‘brandmin’, is beginning to pick up a bad reputation in the customer service space, with 49% of those surveyed describing it as a “significant chore.”

Indeed, on average, UK customers are spending 45 minutes a week on brand admin – amounting to over 1.5 days a year.

And it isn’t just customers’ time that’s being wasted.

Twilio’s research outlines that many consumers are abandoning brandmin tasks due to frustration and boredom, with these uncompleted chores costing £95 per customer per year – equating to a total collective loss of £3 billion.

For Sam Richardson, Customer Engagement Consultant at Twilio, in order to combat brandmin boredom, organizations should focus on leveraging AI to enhance their customer engagement strategies:

It’s up to brands to course correct their customer engagement tactics to ensure they are having positive interactions with consumers, rather than those centered around burdensome ‘brandmin’ chores that ultimately dictate consumers’ perceptions of them.

“Beyond overcoming these universal ‘brandmin’ pet peeves, AI tools can also help brands better listen to, understand, and accommodate their different customers’ engagement preferences, so that being forced into interactions on certain channels and at restricted times becomes a thing of the past.

“AI can also take these preferences into account to ensure every customer interaction is entirely unique and hyper-tailored to the intended recipient.”

Chief amongst what Richardson terms “brandmin pet peeves” are the following tasks that respondents outlined as being the “most irritating”:

  • Being put on hold (43%)
  • Being passed around departments or incorrectly transferred (43%)
  • Lengthy resolution processes (27%)
  • Multi-factor authentication (25%)
  • Complicated returns processes (22%)
  • Being forced into interactions on channels they don’t want to use (18%)
  • Having to reach out at inconvenient times (19%)

Moreover, poor brandmin processes are also beginning to impact brand loyalty, with frustrated customers responding to the issue in the following ways:

  • Taking their business elsewhere (36%)
  • Brands going down in their estimations (34%)
  • Complaining about it to friends and family (28%)
  • Seeing the brand as having incompetent customer service capabilities (28%)
  • Viewing the brand as not valuing them or their time (27%)

But what can organizations do to streamline their brandmin systems and help save their customers’ time and money? And is AI really the best solution?

Is AI a Blessing or a Curse?

Unsurprisingly, the majority of customers want to reduce the time they spend on brandmin. Indeed, over half of those surveyed believe that the chore prevents them from spending time on activities such as work, exercising, hobbies, and socializing with family and friends.

In another revelation that is unlikely to shock too many within the customer service sector, the report highlights that consumers are looking to AI to solve the problem.

With so many brands experimenting with generative AI (GenAI), customers want to start enjoying the benefits of the revolutionary technology – which is increasing the pressure on organizations to enhance their CX offerings.

Twilio’s research reveals that in the next year customers expect AI to help shorten waiting times (34%), provide 24/7 customer service availability (34%), put them through to the correct department first time (28%), and automatically verify their identity (22%).

The importance of AI being deployed as a time-saving solution is discussed by Richardson:

“With customer time incredibly valuable, we’re at a tipping point where people simply won’t put up with their time being wasted anymore, either.

“In the age of AI, there’s incredible opportunity for brands to address this and create more efficient, positive communications. Brands need to rise to the occasion and remove the ‘time drain’ tasks that seem to go hand-in-hand with being a customer. Helping customers reach resolutions is the answer – it’s as simple as that.”

More News from Twilio

From frustrated customers to frustrated investors, Twilio has also recently made news due to an apparent dispute between the company’s c-suite and some of its investors.

This led to the announcement in April that Andy Stafman, a Partner at Sachem Head Capital Management LP, would be joining Twilio’s Board.

This follows the resignation of Twilio Co-Founder & CEO Jeff Lawson earlier this year, amidst pressure from activist investors to divest Twilio Segment and Engage, or even sell the entire business, due to a slowdown in profitability efforts.

Despite recent reaffirmations of commitment to Segment, Stafman’s appointment appears to be an attempt to appease the activist investors.

For more information about former Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson’s surprising acquisition of satirical news site The Onion, check out the story today.

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