Whether your customers are in-store or online, they expect quick resolution of their questions and issues on social. According to a report of top US retailers our team conducted this past July, the average response time across all companies – 11 hours 15 minutes – was much slower than what is now expected. In fact, a study by Edison Research found that 42% of consumers complaining on social media expect a response within 60 minutes.

How does your brand stack up? Here are 3 challenges facing retailers and 3 ways in which your business can benefit from implementing an effective social customer service program.

Social Media Challenges Facing The Retail Industry

1. A highly-engaged customer base creates unmanageable volumes for customer service. With record levels of engagement on social marketing campaigns, complaints spread quickly. Discovering customer issues that require a response can be hugely time-consuming.

2. Marketing value needs to be protected. Social media campaigns can go horribly wrong if content is not effectively protected from public complaints, wasting significant time and resource. To keep the focus on your campaign, you need the ability to rapidly sift through and take action on any questions or complaints that might arise.

3. The risk of lost purchases presents a need for urgency. Your customers are sharing experiences while they try to place orders online or in stores. They expect an instant resolution, or they can easily walk away to one of your competitors if it’s not provided.

The Benefits Of Effective Social Customer Care

1. Retain customers and increase sales. Good service and quick reactions to product inquiries can convert to immediate purchases. Delivering fast social customer service enhances the online shopping experience and increases your average customer value.

2. Increase customer satisfaction. Offer the social experience your customer expects by publicly resolving issues in the same channel from which they sought help. Not only will customer appreciate the quick response, but your fans and followers will also observe your dedication to providing excellent service.

3. Instantly identify supply chain issues. Social provides a first alert when customers voice concerns with large-scale issues such as webpage outages or promotion failures. Improve customer satisfaction by joining the conversation to take action and instantly gain valuable business insights.