Why is Social Media Relevant to a Business’ Customer Service

It is now a well accepted fact that internet users spend more time on social media sites than they do on any other website including their e-mail. They not only use the social media platform to reach out to their friends, stay connected with current events across the globe but also to interact with their favorite brands. Whether it is a complaint, a query or a request, more and more customers are choosing to approach the brands on their Facebook page. While businesses have realized the tremendous potential of social media towards offering excellent customer service, they are still unable to keep up with their customers.

One Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-four

It takes brands an astounding one thousand nine hundred ninety four minutes to respond to queries and complaints on their Facebook page. The minutes translate to thirty three hours, which is completely unacceptable by customers. The recent edition of Edison Research’s ‘The Social Habit’ revealed some startling facts that deserve the attention of businesses.

  • 42% of internet users who approach a brand on social media expect a response time of 60 minutes.
  • 57% of customers who have used social media to contact a business for customer support expect the same response time on weekends and at night as they do during the business week.
  • 24% of American internet users expect brands to respond within 30 minutes of contacting them through a social media channel.

Are Businesses Listening?

A majority of businesses have realized and acknowledge that social media is an essential tool of marketing, and to stay connected with a brand’s target audiences. Unfortunately most use this platform as a way of putting forth brand information. They focus more on posting or tweeting than on responding to their customers. Businesses need to understand that the modern customer expects, and in many a case, demands an appropriate response from a brand. If they do not receive the said response they are likely to avoid buying the brand again and are expected to voice their thoughts and opinions vocally on their social media account.

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What Businesses Need to Do

Social Baker’s research on socially devoted brands on Facebook in 2014 indicates that the telecom industry are the quickest and most prompt when it comes to the customer service they offer on the social network. This sector of the market receives 5.6 times more customer service request than any other industry. The telecom industry rises to the customer service challenge and delivers a QRR or Question Response Rate that is 15% better than the average.

This year’s survey reveals that most brands improved their QRR by 5% but their QRT or the Question Response Time rose 29% to 1,994 minutes. This is the number that has market experts worried and should get businesses to sit up and take notice of the situation.

The top socially devoted brands include KLM, Robi Axiata Limited (Bangladesh), Grameenphone (Bangladesh) and djuice Pakistan. KLM is acknowledged to be a leader in social customer service. The brand leaves no stone unturned to ensure that its customers are attended to and provided the required information that they desire. The brand offers several tools and apps on its Facebook page that make planning and managing travel plans easier and simpler. The South East Asian brands that rank high on social devotion are telecom brands.

Poland’s telecom brands help it achieve the title of fastest QRT. These telecom brands respond to questions posted on their Facebook timeline in less than 80 minutes. The great customer service that the businesses offer their customers goes hand in hand with increase in revenue.

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When the research was segregated by country it revealed some startling trends. Pakistan, Netherlands and Germany were found to be the most responsive with the first two accounting for a QRR of over 90%. Brazil, United States and Hong Kong were found to be the least responsive. In the United States, the Question Response Rate was 58.5%.

It is important for businesses to start listening to what their customers are saying. A brand’s commitment to its customers doesn’t end with the bill of sale. In order to encourage repeat customers and to improve customer loyalty, shoppers need to feel heard and should be satisfied with the response of the business.

Social listening is a skill that businesses need to develop if they truly want to grow to their full potential. They need to listen actively to understand what issues irk their customers and where their interests lie. Facebook and other social media channels should be used to improve engagement with dialogue, and not restricted to a marketing monologue.

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