Online customer service, especially social customer service, is fraught with tension between what customers want and what businesses can deliver. Customers generally see social customer service as one of the slowest ways to resolve issues, yet for some years now consumers still flock to social in search of support. A new infographic from Sprout Social shows us the main problem—businesses still aren’t responding fast enough.
The number of customers turning to social media for customer support continues to increase—up 21 percent in the last two quarters. Response times have increased by four percent, but overall response rate has decreased by 2.5 percent.
Clearly businesses are struggling to keep up with consumer demand. In many ways, businesses are falling behind substantially: seven of eight customer messages go unanswered within 72 hours. Sprout Social identifies one of the main problems: businesses are marketing, not performing customer service on social.
On average brands are posting four times as often as they are replying. Some industries, like utilities and retail, are bringing their ratio of posts to replies closer together, giving them a more balanced approach. Real estate is the worst industry, with those brands sending 11.7 more posts than replies on social sites.
Sprout Social provides four tips for increasing your customer engagement:
- Develop a holistic social customer care strategy
- Equip yourself with the right tools to execute it
- Actively listen and provide timely answers
- Be authentic.
To see which geographic areas have seen increases and decreases in response times and rates, view the infographic below.