Company Social Media Response Times to Customers are Unsocial

Standard

FORTY-THREE days for a Facebook response. FIFTY-ONE days for a Twitter response. Granted, these statistics are from the “slowest” companies represented in an Eptica poll, but would you buy products from a small business that displayed anywhere near this level of ambivalence toward its customers?

Shep Hyken doesn’t think so. Neither do I. Neither should you.

Who is Shep Hyken? He is a customer service expert, professional speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations that want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. In other words, he “knows” customer service.

In a blog he wrote “Social Media Response Time, Are You Fast Enough,” he was bowled over by the lack of acceptable response times businesses “on” social media were apparently giving to their customers AND non-customers.

The survey by Epitca, a global provider of multichannel customer interaction software, evaluated 500 US retailers on their ability to provide answers to 10 basic questions.

Response timesAverage response times were one day (and a few hours) for Facebook & Twitter.

Hyken wrote “This is nuts! If I have a problem, and I contact the company, I don’t want to have to wait almost eight hours to get a response. Maybe all I have is a simple question, I’m not even upset or angry. But, due to the frustration of having to wait hours, or even a day or more, for a response my simple question becomes a customer service debacle.”

It’s bad enough in the 21st century if your small business is not on Twitter or Facebook or does not have a blog— meaning you can’t or won’t hear what’s being said about you. But to put up lazily administrated token Twitter & Facebook accounts or websites without a blog and ignore comments & questions from customers until you get around to them, well, I firmly believe that is… rude and counter-productive.

Just posting pictures of what you have for sale or tweeting about store events is not going to entice people to walk into your business. Not the ones on social media. Let’s repeat. SOCIAL media. Your customers and potential customers wish to get up close & personal. They want to know why they should drive over to your store, walk in your door and pick up your product.

It’s called engagement.

And they will express this with questions tweeted, posted or in response to blogs. Calling is passe for most people. Who is watching your Twitter, Facebook and website/blog interactions? The college kid working part time? Your niece? You?

That’s the failing of many small biz owners who love social media because it offers multiple levels of free advertising, but don’t want to spend a portion of the savings on hiring a social media strategist or even just a writer like myself to make sure that there is not only solid content but someone “listening” to provide speedy customer service.

Look at those worst response times again. FORTY-THREE days for a Facebook response. FIFTY-ONE days for a Twitter response.

How would you like it if a vendor or the bank took that long to respond to you?

The full Eptica Infographic can be found here.

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