Social is without a doubt the fastest growing resource brands have at their disposal. And within social, direct engagement on channels like Facebook and Twitter are an increasingly powerful way to influence customers during the buying process.
A rapidly growing number of businesses understand that delivering a good customer experience is essential. Research we conducted with New York University last year showed that a staggering 88% of people are less likely to buy from a company if they go onto a Facebook page and see that the brand is not responding to customer complaints and questions. But still, 50% of retailers fail to resolve real customer issues on Facebook and Twitter within 24 hours.
Collectively between the US and UK Holiday Retail reports, we analyzed over 285,000 @mentions that 20 major retailers received during the 2012 holiday period (dates ranging between 20 Nov – 1 Jan). In the reports we not only look at the general volume increase the retailers faced during the holiday period, but also provide in-depth analysis on what kind of problems were caused at different times. We sought to create a more accurate taxonomy of consumer behavior at large, as well as a detailed profile of the attitudes towards each specific retailer.
In the US Report we found that:
- The retailers received twice the average daily volume of Tweets over the holiday period compared to October
- The biggest surge in volume of Tweets was for the 7 days following Cyber Monday, with five times more than the average daily volume of October
- The volume of customer service tweets correlated with Tweets about the retailer’s sales, events & promotions
- Product availability issues caused the biggest negative spikes in activity
After negative customer service issues and general mentions, people Tweeted more about positive customer experiences than anything else - showing that if social customer service is done right, it can be a powerful tool for generating brand advocacy.
You can download the US report here.
In the UK Report we found that:
- The biggest surge in Tweets occurred precisely 12 days before Christmas – there was a 25% increase in the amount of interactions brands received from their customers, right before the Christmas rush
- Failure to meet delivery promises caused the highest level of dissatisfaction, causing sudden spikes in negative tweets
- The weekends before Christmas caused a significant drop in social customer service interactions on Twitter, coinciding with increased footfall in store. Spikes in Tweets the following Monday suggest customers window shop in store, then proceed to shop online the following Monday, driving customer interactions on social channels.
- Almost twice as many tweets expressed customer dissatisfaction compared to customer satisfaction
- Straight after Christmas social interactions doubled, signalling the start of customer conversations regarding gifts and the Boxing Day sales
With the shift in communication to smartphones, and the growth of using smartphones in-store - ‘showrooming’ - response time is more crucial than ever. Our own analysis conducted of customer service Tweets directed at major retailers, 14% were sent while a customer was in-store. There are so many opportunities to drive sales during the Christmas period, but this can only be gained if you successfully manage the additional surge in the volume of tweets, and have the right team in place to handle the processes.
With the holidays right around the corner, we’ve chosen to host not one, but two webinars next week to help prepare retailers for the imminent surge in social media activity from the holiday season.
We will be unveiling The Twelve Days of Social Customer Service Guide during our webinars, one specific for the US and one for the UK, providing you with 12 essential steps your brand needs to deliver successful social customer service during Christmas 2013. If you are unable to attend, but still interested in hearing the discussion, register your details and a recording will be sent out following the webinar, along with a copy of the guide.
There will be plenty of time for a discussion too – share your thoughts, questions and views about our webinar with #12daysofsocialxmas.