New data from the US shows that more than half of retailers there are now using social networks as a communication channel – customer service really has gone social. But digging down into the numbers, it seems that not everyone is doing it very well.
According to the study, if you check the online response time of the top 100 US retailers there is an average wait time of 11 hours and 15 minutes – this is for queries posted on Twitter and Facebook.
The best response from a retailer was 9 minutes and the worst was over 50 hours. Back when we were all writing letters a two-day response rate might have been acceptable, but consumers don’t expect to use the Internet to reach out to a retailer only to find there is no response for days.
It’s critical to understand the different expectations of the consumer. We have years of analysis for this based on voice-based contact centres, but everything changes in an online environment.
The good thing is that the expectation of immediate service is not there – unlike a call where the customer expects a voice at the other end of the line immediately. People are happy to post a question online and then wait for a response, but the general consensus amongst American consumers is that anything longer than two hours is not good enough.
Let’s try getting some non-US opinion on this. When you tweet a brand how long would you wait before feeling that your query has been ignored? Is it measured in minutes, hours, or days? Let me know here on the comments or tweet me here.
Photo by Pong licensed under Creative Commons