Discussion tabs on all Facebook pages will be removed at the end of October. When Facebook announced this decision there was an outcry - what about all those customer service discussions happening there?!
At first, we had the same reaction - and thought that we would quickly build a replacement tab, fully integrated into Conversocial.
But when we looked into it, we found that usage of the tabs - even for customer service issues - was very low. The vast majority of all activity happens on the wall. Companies who are taking customer service seriously are already answering most requests on the wall, so removing the discussions tab wouldn't really make any difference, and this was backed up with in-depth conversations with our customers.
In fact, even when companies have specific customer service tabs such as Get Satisfaction's tab, the vast majority of all requests stil come into the wall. Recently we've been looking into the numbers of genuine questions and complaints coming into the walls of the top US department stores, so today we had a look at how this activity compares with their tabs:
1. Walmart had 42 problems reported in the last five days on their Get Satisfaction tab compared with 360 posted on their wall - and many of the tab posts were duplicates of posts originally made on the wall, after they were asked by Walmart to re-post them (then leaving the query unresolved on the wall, even if the question was ultimately answered in the tab).
2. Macy's had 6 discussions in their tab in the last month (so averaging just over one a week) compared with 31 on the wall in our five day sample.
3. Half of the stores do not have discussion or support tabs at all
4. Only one of the stores had over 10 discussions active in the last month
Get Satisfaction wrote a post few days ago, suggesting why you should have a tab.
But our data shows they are wrong. The posts will come to the wall anyway - having a tab does not stop these at all - and a tool like Conversocial allows you to filter and answer them in a structured, manageable way, with a full archive and audit trail of all of your answers (which is a sensible response to Get Satisfaction's reservations over embracing use of the Facebook wall). We also make it easy to moderate and keep the wall clean and effective as a forum for customer service enquiries.
The vast majority of all customer service issues are already happening directly on the wall. Adding a tab, whether the (soon to disappear) native Facebook discusions tab or a separate tab like the Get Satisfaction app, may push a very small number of questions to the tab - but most of them will remain on the wall. If you don't deal with customer service issues here, not only will your customers be left upset and angry, but this resentment is publicly visible to your entire social audience. It's a customer service disaster waiting to happen.
If you'd like to learn how Conversocial can help you plug your customer service team into your Facebook wall, get in touch now.
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