I Can Hear You, I’m Just Ignoring You

This social media stuff isn’t exactly new anymore, right? I mean businesses have been immersed in it for at least 5 years and many for longer than that. So why do we keep screwing it up?

This crossed my screen earlier:

Thirty-three percent of consumers who contact brands on social media with a customer service question never get a response, according to a new study released today by management consulting firm The Northridge Group. Based on a survey of more than 1,000 respondents, the study finds that 26 percent of consumers choose social media for customer service when they can’t reach a representative through another channel. When companies do respond, more than 30 percent of their responses do not meet the customers’ expectations. In fact, social media has the lowest percentage of issue resolution and follow up of all the channels.

Seriously?  Well, maybe the data isn’t as disappointing as the headline:

The survey also found that just 3 percent of consumers cite social media as the fastest channel for issue resolution, and only 2 percent cite it as their preferred channel. Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Sixty-three percent of consumers have to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before a customer service inquiry or issue is resolved.
  • Forty-two percent of consumers expect resolution within one hour when using social media for customer service inquiry or issue.
  • Thirty-nine percent of consumers say that companies resolve their customer service issues or inquiries on social media within a week or longer.

Oh.  I know from lots of experience that businesses are spending precious marketing resources listening to what’s going on out there in an attempt to understand their customers’ needs.  Bravo!  But as with any activity, if we’re just going to ignore what our customers are telling us – especially when they’re telling it to us proactively – we might just as well spend the money elsewhere.

You can get the report here but don’t bother if you’re not going to use it to improve how you’re providing service via social media.  No one likes to be ignored, especially customers with a problem.  Maybe you should be digging into how many contacts have been initiated by customers?  Maybe you should keep score on how many have been addressed and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction?  Actually, this is one instance where if you ignore something – your customers – it will go away.  Is that the result you’re after?


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