Social Customer Service: What Do Consumers Want?
When a consumer goes online to complain about a product or service issue, chances are good they’ve already exhausted all the normal channels of communication with a retailer. They probably are more than a little bit upset over what they see as the inability or unwillingness by a company’s employees to address what they view as a straightforward issue.
So, what do consumers expect when they go on a retailer’s Twitter page or other social media site? Most, it turns out, expect a direct answer right there in the form of a message from the merchant’s social media team.
According to a report by Conversocial, brands spend a lot of time redirecting consumers to other channels to address their problems and that is the opposite of what shoppers want. In fact, 98 percent are given an e-mail address or phone number they didn’t ask for and don’t want to use. Forty-two percent say their tweets are ignored when they object to being switched to another channel. Seventy-six percent say the conversation with the brand dies after they are directed elsewhere.
Interestingly, 14 percent of tweets are sent to retailers while customers are in the store. This puts even more pressure on merchants to respond quickly and not to deflect messages elsewhere.
Another curious note, the Conversocial study named J.C. Penney as the leading retailer in resolving customer service issues via Twitter.
- With Twitter’s IPO Approaching, Which Brands Are Taking it Seriously as a Customer Service Channel? – Conversocial
- Tweet, Email or Call – Conversocial (pdf download)
What best practices would you suggest to retailers for responding to customer questions and complaints via social media channels? What is your take on the issue of consumers being deflected to other channels to address issues they have with a retailer?