For Brands, Social Customer Service is a Must

September 16, 2014
Customer Service
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With social media and smartphones on the rise, a new kind of customer service has developed.  Consumers are no longer reaching out via phone, they are voicing their questions and concerns by using social media.  With the promptness that social brings, consumers want answers on social, instantly.  Research conducted by Lithium Technologies says that 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour. The percentage increases to 72% for those with a complaint.

While some brands are quick at providing a response, they might not be quick enough. According to Brickfish, 80% of companies believe they provide superior customer service on social media, while 92% of consumers disagree.  Brands might want to re-evaluate their social plan to make sure they are keeping up with the consumers wants.

One industry that is seen to be slow at social customer service is Supermarkets.  Getting in-touch with social could really help this industry gain excellent customer loyalty.  Social Media Today used their Twitter Performance Tracker to look at how 21 North American supermarkets use Twitter as a customer service channel.  The average response time spent on Twitter was 5 hours and 10 minutes.  This is definitely not meeting the customer’s expectations.

One supermarket that is quick at responding is Mariano’s Market.  They had the fastest response time of 29 minutes and 17 seconds.  If a customer is tweeting in store, the likelihood of them still being there within 30 minutes is high.  This gives customers a chance to tweet out any questions they might have.  It could also open opportunities for supermarkets to help customers find recipes with certain ingredients that they are buying in store.

Here is an example of a customer complaining about his store experience. He tweeted at 10:37PM and received a response back at 10:50PM. Though I do not know the outcome, Mariano’s might have saved a customer from becoming un-loyal due to their fast response time and willingness to help.

Here is an example of a customer asking about a new location opening. Within 13 minutes, Mariano’s had responded by providing an answer and then engaging with the consumer.  This is what can drive a consumer to become loyal, and I am guessing that person, along with the nine people who favorited the tweet, will be at the opening.

Consumers want to feel connected to everything and everyone.  By reaching out to someone on social, it can help create that bond between the consumer and the retailer or brand.  According to BrickFish 71% of consumers who receive a quick and effective response are more likely to recommend that brand to others and 50% are more likely to buy from a brand they can contact on social media.

It’s time to stop just posting on social media and to start engaging.  Make people aware of your presence, and give the best social customer service possible! Start now and beat out your competitors.

Do you have a favorite brand or supermarket that has excellence social customer service? Or as a marketer, do you have a marketing tactic that has helped your social customer service? If so, please let us know in the comment box!

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