Are companies actually engaging with social media customer service?
Published on: March 02, 2012
Social media opens up a whole new way of communicating with customers. However companies need to understand that it is fundamentally different to other channels. Social media is much more of a two way conversation and, as it is held in public, the world can see the results.
So while many companies have moved onto social media and are using it for customer service, what is vital is how engaged they are with actually answering targeted customer requests, rather than pumping out one way tweets. Unfortunately new research tool EngagementIndex shows that, when it comes to Twitter, there’s a wide gap between the best and worst performers.
Essentially EngagementIndex works by counting the number of questions particular brands receive on Twitter and how many of these are actually replied to. It obviously discounts simple mentions of a brand (apparently 80% of references to McDonald’s online are related to people giving directions) but looks at what percentage of questions are answered.
EngagementIndex has completed initial reports on three sectors – supermarkets, utilities and mobile phone network operators. The first thing to note is the amount of targeted tweets brands are receiving – nearly 500 in 5 days for O2 and just under 800 for Tesco in the same period. Clearly, customers see Twitter as a valid customer service channel and want responses to their queries.
However the second point is that many companies seem to be deaf to these customers – according to EngagementIndex’s figures British Gas ignored 34 messages and only replied to 2, while Asda ignored all 317 tweets. Compare this to Eon (replied to 14 of 18 messages) and Ocado (14 of 19 tweets) and you can see a chasm between best and worst.
EngagementIndex’s research is a further demonstration of the need for customer service departments to put in place monitoring for key social media channels – and then to have a process and workflow to quickly respond to queries. Otherwise customer issues will escalate and consumers will desert your brand for those open to listening and having a conversation with them on social media.
Categories: Contact Center, Customer Service, Multichannel Customer Service, Retail, TelecomsUtilities