Twilio (Image credit/Pixabay/Habitat_de_lill)Over half of consumers (54%) have lost their patience or become emotional (47%) with brands wasting their time. 37% now expect companies to use AI to deliver more efficient services. That’s according to new research from Twilio, the customer engagement platform that drives real-time, personalised experiences. 49% consider brand admin (or ‘brandmin’) – tasks to manage their accounts or interactions with brands – to be a significant chore.

However, the research also found that streamlined customer engagement could benefit businesses as much as consumers. 22% of respondents say 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. This is in contrast to burdening them with unwanted tasks.

‘Brandmin’ time drains

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 contributed to customer dissatisfaction. UK consumers were forced into interactions on channels they didn’t want to use (18%) or forced to reach out at inconvenient times (19%).

(credit image/LinkedIn/Sam Richardson)
Customer Engagement Consultant at Twilio,

Sam Richardson, Customer Engagement Consultant at Twilio, suggested,”It’s up to brands to course correct their customer engagement tactics. They have to ensure brands are having positive interactions with consumers, rather than those centred around burdensome ‘brandmin’ chores. These activities 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. As a result, 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 customer interaction is unique and hyper-tailored to the intended recipient.”

A customer deal breaker

Such inconveniences often result in consumers giving up entirely on their ‘brandmin’ chores. In the past 12 months, consumers have dropped a task or issue entirely due to communications taking up too much time (33%). Or it being a frustrating experience for them (34%). 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%)

Saying goodbye to burdensome ‘brandmin’

In 2024, with customer expectations increasing, sub-par customer interactions simply are not good enough. 39% of consumers regularly left disappointed by their brand interactions. Twilio also found consumers want to cut down on the time they spend doing brand admin (57%). 49% have missed out on doing more valuable things at the expense of brand admin. This includes work such as 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. Many hoping it can shorten waiting times (34%), provide 24/7 customer service availability (34%). Some would like to be put 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 adds, “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. This puts a massive burden on them and negatively impacting their brand views. And with customer time incredibly valuable, we are at a tipping point. People simply won’t put up with their time being wasted anymore, either.”

Enterprise Times: What this means for businesses

I have never previously heard of the term brandmin (i.e. tasks to manage their accounts or interactions with brands – BRand Admin). However, with UK consumers spending 45 minutes a week on average on such tasks this amounts to over 1.5 days a year, it’s no surprise that 47% of consumers see brandmin 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.

With the dawn of AI, there’s an opportunity for enterprises and organisations to address. Brands and retailers must create more efficient, positive communications. They have 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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