The US’s biggest brands are struggling to keep up with customer enquiries generated via Twitter, according to a new study. Research from a social media engagement company discovered that only 13 per cent of customer complaints sent through the social network were being answered by 10 of the largest retail brands, including Foot Locker, GAO and Abercrombie and Fitch.
The study, which tracked 8,000 conversations over a seven-day period, found that very few brands were managing to keep up with @mentions from disgruntled customers. The investigation saw that companies like Limited Brands, American Eagle Outfitters and Collective Brands were receiving over 100,000 Twitter references every week, while the response time of the brands varied wildly, with reply rates from the organisations ranging from 20 minutes to over 50 hours.
“A lot of these companies actually have social media staff dedicated to the Twitter feed. But that’s not really enough when it comes to customer service,” commented Joshua March, the CEO of the company behind the survey.
“A vast number of companies are failing because there’s no way one or two social media marketers can keep up with thousands of incoming messages.” In addition, the people running Twitter and Facebook accounts for brands aren’t often trained to deal with real customer service issues like refunds and exchanges, meanwhile customer service representatives aren’t trained to handle social media technologies.”
Commenting on The Next Web website, blogger Cara Hendrickson said:
“The shift in customer service and how social media is used is something brands need to begin thinking about yesterday. Customer service by phone or by email is behind the curve and “so last decade”. Companies miss the opportunity to truly engage on the ground level when it matters. It’s the dawn of a new era.”