I realize I’ve spent the first couple of posts this week on the topic of companies being less than responsive to customers. I was chatting about this with someone yesterday and they asked me if I really thought the two cases I cited were the norm. After all, he said, how can companies really expect this kind of behavior to remain quiet when every person is a publisher?
Precisely my point, but since when does common sense prevail? In fact, companies are getting worse at being responsive. Maybe it’s just the increase in volume, maybe it’s the ease with which customers can reach out, but the common sense solution of staffing up and training to handle the increased load is nowhere to be found. Since we believe in fact-based statements here, these facts are from Sprout Social:
90% of people surveyed have used social in some way to communicate directly with a brand. What’s more, social surpasses phone and email as the first place most people turn when they have a problem or issue with a product or service, according to Sprout’s consumer survey. Following this trend, The Sprout Index shows that the number of social messages needing a response from a brand has increased by 18%over the past year. In spite of the high volume of messages that require a response, brands reply to just 11% of people (a number that’s been stuck in neutral since 2015).
11%, meaning brands are ignoring 89% of the messages sent to them as consumers reach out. I guess they’re too busy misusing social media and other responsive channels as megaphones (so 1995) since the research found that brands send promotional messages out 23 times as often as they respond to a customer message. It’s not just social that requires our attention. August 2015 research from Nice Systems and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that internet users in major metro areas worldwide used an average of 5.6 customer service channels.
I can hear you rubbing your temples as the headache comes on. How will you support your customers in those places when you might be ignoring 9 out of 10 customer interactions now? Beats me, but the question needs to be answered, and the organizations that do so will be the ones that win. Make sense?