Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

UK consumers bored of ‘brandmin’

Over half of consumers (54%) have lost their patience or become emotional (47%) with brands wasting their time, according to new research from Twilio, the customer engagement platform.

Almost half of Brits (49%) also consider brand admin (or ‘brandmin’) – i.e. tasks to manage their accounts or interactions with brands – to be a significant chore. When asked what types of ‘brandmin’ are the most irritating, consumers ranked the following as the most arduous experiences: 

  • 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%). 

Lack of choice also played into customer dissatisfaction, with Brits being forced into interactions on channels they don’t want to use (18%), or having to reach out at inconvenient times (19%). 

With UK consumers spending a whopping 45 minutes a week on average on such tasks, amounting to over 1.5 days a year, it’s no surprise that 47% of consumers see brand admin as an unnecessary time drain. It’s even resulted in many giving up on ‘brandmin’ tasks entirely, with Brits having lost an average of £95 each in the last year at their expense. This amounts to a whopping £3 billion collectively lost by UK consumers.

However, the research also found that streamlined customer engagement could benefit businesses as much as consumers, with 22% of respondents saying they would likely use any time saved to browse more products and services. It highlighted a significant opportunity for brands to create more positive interactions with their consumers during the touchpoints they have, instead of burdening them with unwanted tasks.

Sam Richardson, Customer Engagement Consultant at Twilio, commented: “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. AI tools can help brands better listen to, understand, and accommodate their different customers’ engagement preferences.”

The research revealed that , in the past 12 months, a third (33%) of consumers have dropped a task or issue entirely due to communications taking up too much time, or it being a frustrating experience for them. A quarter (25%) even say they’ve ended up paying more, or lost money, by not following up on a ‘brandmin’ task. In fact, UK consumers report to have lost £95 on average a year by not completing such chores.

Inefficient interactions are also impacting brand loyalty. Brits report the following knock on effects: 

  • 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%)

Almost two fifths (39%) of the consumers surveyed regularly left disappointed by their brand interactions. Twilio also found consumers want to cut down on the time they spend doing brand admin (57%), and almost half (49%) have missed out on doing more valuable things at the expense of brand admin – such as work, other household tasks, exercising, hobbies, and spending time with family and friends.

Thanks to the emergence of AI, customers expect rapid improvements in the next 12 months, with them hoping it can shorten waiting times (34%), provide 24/7 customer service availability (34%), put them through to the correct department first time (28%), automatically verify their identity (22%), streamline or automate changes or cancellations to contracts (18%), or streamline resolutions to complaints and product faults (17%).

Richardson said: “It’s alarming just how much ‘brand admin’ creeps into our everyday lives. It has a detrimental impact on customers’ mood and emotions when they can’t reach a resolution or get in touch on our preferred channel, putting a massive burden on them and negatively impacting their brand views. And 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.”


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