Social media a missed opportunity for customer service

A new report suggests most companies simply don't understand how effective social media can be for customer service, and majority of brand feedback people leave on social sites is ignored.

The average business responds to only 11 percent of the people who reach out to them on popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, according to a new report from Sprout Social, which offers a social media management platform. Brands aren't necessarily averse to posting, tweeting or "'graming," Sprout Social says. They're just too busy sending out promotions. Companies distribute 23 promotional messages for every response they send to their audiences on social media, according to the survey.

[ Related: Apple launches new @AppleSupport channel on Twitter ]

Sprout Social hired consumer research company Survata to survey 1,062 social media users. The company then compared the responses to public activity data from 247,000 social profiles, with more than 2.9 billion combined messages.

The findings suggest many customers speak into a void when they try to engage with brands via social apps. "Unfortunately, most businesses continue to use social as a promotional mechanism instead of a two-way communication channel," according to the report.

Social sites well-suited for customer support

Social media is the first place the majority of respondents turn when they have issues with products or services, according to the report, and 90 percent of them say they've used social apps to communicate directly with brands. Most of those messages are ignored, and even when brands do respond, people wait an average of 10 hours to hear back. However, consumers expect to receive a response within four hours, the survey says.

sprout social top choice Sprout Social

This kind of lackluster social media engagement can have a negative impact on businesses, according to Sprout Social. Roughly 75 percent of respondents had a negative experience with brands on social sites, 36 percent used such apps to shame a company for poor customer service, and 30 percent said they would switch to a competitor if a brand fails to respond.

Conversely, brands can use social media to their benefit if they respond quickly and provide helpful answers to customer queries, according to the report. When companies meet these conditions 75 percent of people are likely to share positive reviews on social media, 65 percent of respondents said they will have more brand loyalty, and 25 percent are less likely to go to a competitor or post negative things about the brand, according to Sprout Social.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags businesssocial media

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Kapko

CIO (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?