Customer Service Response Times: How Social is Threatening Brand Affinity

@Cassie | Social

We’re no longer living in a time when consumers simply pick up a phone to call a support line to seek out help or to issue a complaint with a company. Instead, we’re seeing queries pop up socially, across a never-ending range of platforms from Facebook to Instagram to the Google Play Store. If you want your business to be a viable player in today’s socially obsessed world, you need to stay on top of the feedback you’re receiving online, and should be doing so in a timely manner. But what should your response time-frames be and how might it affect your business?

The Cold Hard Facts

Before you can decide on the appropriate time-frames your brand should be using to respond to customers, you first need to understand consumer behavioral patterns. In a report run by Sprout Social it was found that:

  • Consumers are twice as likely to share a negative customer service experience than a positive one
  • 78% of customers have walked away from a purchase when facing subpar customer service
  • 89% of people have severed ties with a company altogether after encountering bad customer service
  • In the US alone, $83 billion dollars are lost annually due to poor customer service

Response Turnaround: The Breakdown

The hot spots your audience will be most active on may vary by industry, but in general, there are a few mammoth platforms you should be keeping a close eye on – Facebook, Twitter, your company’s blog and of course, your email.

  • 42% of consumers admitted they expect a response within 1 day of reaching out to a business on Facebook or Twitter
  • 43% of people expect a one-day response time-frame on company blog forums, and 21% thought they should hear back within 3 days
  • 50% of customers felt emails should be replied to within 24 hours

Best Practices

Making sure your company is socially devoted should be a priority. As consumer behavior trends lean more and more towards higher social engagement levels, you need to make sure your brand is active on the appropriate channels. Of course, depending on the size of your company you may not have the means to staff an entire customer service taskforce, but you can take some steps to keep your response times on track:

  • Establish yourself on the channels your fans are most active on by claiming branded profiles for each. It might take some experimenting to figure out where you’re receiving the highest levels of engagement, but it’s important to be active where you’re receiving the greatest volume of comments and inquiries.
  • Have a dedicated staff member (or a handful, depending on your social media size) who is in charge of handling customer service on your social profiles.
  • Set expectations! Provide your community managers with response guidelines, clearly laying out expectations not just for the response time-frames you require, but also for the appropriate language you want used  when interacting with consumers.
  • Utilize the tools that are now available for social media monitoring, like HootSuite and Radian6.  These tools will allow you to keep clear dashboards of your social activity and metrics, and can provide you with clear notifications when people are mentioning or talking about your brand.

Additions & Feedback

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