A new study has revealed that many of the biggest brands in the U.S., including McDonalds, Starbucks, Coca Cola and Visa, are not providing a high standard of customer support on Twitter, either being slow to reply to enquiries or, in some high-profile cases, not responding at all.

Four Software Advice employees used their personal Twitter accounts to send customer service tweets to 14 leading consumer brands across seven industries – McDonalds, Starbucks (Fast Food), Coca Cola, Pepsi (Soft Drinks), Visa, Mastercard (Credit Cards), Wells Fargo, Bank Of America (Banking), Walmart, Home Depot (Retail), Apple*, HP (Consumer Tech), Gillette and Colgate (Personal Care).

Each company received one tweet per weekday for four consecutive weeks, with questions falling into five different categories:

  1. Urgent, or I need help right this second
  2. Positive (“thank you!”)
  3. Negative
  4. A question from their FAQ page
  5. Technical, or needs more than one interaction to solve

Brands were rated on their average response time and rate, and the results have been documented in the infographic below.

* No real surprise on Apple – they don’t have any kind of social media presence, so even if they are actively monitoring their mentions across Twitter, they couldn’t respond even if they wanted to.

(Source: Software Advice. Help button image via Shutterstock.)