Got a question about that phone you just bought? You might want to take the old-school approach and wade through option after option on the company’s customer service phone line if this new study is any indicator.
Of the customer service questions sent to the top 25 online retailers on Twitter, only 44 percent were answered within 24 hours, and only two companies are guaranteed to actually get back to you.
Despite the vast number of consumers taking to Twitter to complain, ask questions and otherwise discuss products, it’s pretty surprising that the top retailers aren’t better at answering their tweets.
STELLAService examined the top 25 online retailers to see how their customer service was on Twitter. They looked at their tweets over a 45 day period in order to determine how many of them actually responded to customers, and how long it took.
They found that a full 56 percent of customer tweets to companies were being ignored.
But despite the fact that less than half respond to customers the same day of the complaint or question, two retailers stood out as totally Twitter savvy: Zappos.com and LLBean.com.
Both of these companies responded to all customer service tweets they received within 24 hours. And Zappos.com went above and beyond, answering 82 percent of tweets within one hour of receiving them.
The other online retailers in the top 5 were Overstock.com (98 percent response rate within 24 hours), Dell.com (98 percent) and BestBuy.com (89 percent).
Citing a recent American Express Global Consumer Service Barometer, STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser explains that Twitter customer care is essential to good business, as consumers who use social media for customer service are willing to spend 21 percent more with companies that impress them.
“It’s becoming clear that social media savvy consumers are an incredibly important segment of any company’s customer base, both because they have higher service expectations and they have wide broadcast networks for sharing their experiences with others. By failing to take Twitter seriously as a customer service channel, companies may be inadvertently ignoring some of their best customers at their own peril.”
As consumers, we expect that someone is listening when we tweet to a company’s username. And in this day and age, if a company doesn’t have someone behind the account at all times – or at least checking in frequently – it could cost them our business.
(Customer service image via Shutterstock)