According to research from ContactBabel, 53% of US businesses claim to offer social media as a customer service channel. However, the level of service being offered varies across brands and industries. While many reports have chosen to focus on metrics such as response time, this is only one aspect of the customer experience.
Brands that don’t resolve issues within Twitter ask customers to repeat themselves to a different agent and in a channel they did not choose. Conversocial evaluated 40,000 Tweets over a one week period to determine which companies and industries resolve customer issues within Twitter, as well as common issues that brands deflect away from social and on to channels such as email or telephone. Several industry verticals are highlighted in the report, specifically retailers, airlines, telecoms, finance and restaurants.
Five key learnings emerged from the report that support the importance of keeping customer service resolutions within Twitter:
1. If the customer wanted to phone or email, they would have done so
Only 2% of customers used Twitter to obtain information on how to contact the brand in other channels, whereas 98% of consumers were looking for a resolution on social media but were still encouraged to contact the brand by email or phone.
2. The customer may have already tried traditional channels
Social is often used as a last resort by customers who have failed to obtain a resolution in other channels. After being deflected away from social to other channels, 19% of customers responded to advise that they had already tried those channels or preferred to stay on social.
Of those who objected to the deflection, 42% were then ignored by brands and were not able to obtain the resolution they sought via social media. With this comes the risk of losing the customer as a brand advocate.
3. Deflection decreases positive brand visibility
In 76% of cases, the conversation died after the consumer was directed to a different channel, casting uncertainty as to whether the customer was able to achieve resolution. Meanwhile, brands that embrace social customer service are likely to obtain brand advocacy in up to 71% of cases, according to research by NM Incite.
4. Customers are Tweeting issues while in stores and restaurants
The rise of smartphones means that it is extremely convenient to Tweet instantly. 14% of the deflected Tweets to retailers, and 16% of the Tweets to restaurants, were sent while customers were either in-store or in-restaurant. Often stemming from a complaint, these Tweets present a great opportunity for positive brand exposure - central teams can work with local managers to remedy situations quickly, and create real customer advocates.
5. Leading companies are deflecting under 3% of queries
Of all the industries review in the study, excluding restaurants, the best companies were deflecting under 3% of queries. This shows that brands are able to resolve most customer service issues within Twitter. Verizon, who had some of the highest volume across the brands we studied, only deflected 0.21% of Tweets. Meanwhile, the worst were redirecting over 40%.
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