A new study from Conversocial, a provider of social customer service software, shows that while industries have responded to customer needs and have taken to servicing customers over social networks, some have work to do when it comes to actually resolving issues over Twitter.
(Graphic courtesy Conversocial)
Great service requires a mix of speed and quality, with a bit of friendliness thrown in for good measure. While some may think this would make Twitter the perfectly suited platform for customer service inquiries and issue resolution, it’s difficult to judge how effective Twitter is as a customer service medium because — although response times are easier to gather — resolution rates and whether an issue was deflected to a different channel for resolution have not been widely measured.
Based on 40,000 tweets sent in August 2013, the Conversocial study included 29 brands: 10 retailers, four airlines, five telecoms, seven finance companies and three restaurants. Conversocial focused on brands with more than 5,000 followers and physical presence in the U.S. Additionally brands included in the study had sent responses during the August 14 to August 21 that included an email address or a toll-free number.
From the report:
“Redirecting customers away from their chosen support channel is one of the worst customer service experiences possible – forcing customers to repeat themselves in a form they haven’t chosen. 65% of customers report that first contact resolution is the most important part of a good customer service experience. The only way for brands to provide the in-channel resolution over social that their customers expect is to have a dedicated team of customer service agents equipped with the tools necessary to respond publicly and discuss privately within social media channels.”
The ten retailers included are: @BedBathBeyond, @CarMax, @JCPenney, @JustFabOnline, @Kohls, @Lowes, @Macys, @PepboysAuto, @WarbyParkerHelp, and @Walmart.
Diving into the retail findings, on average 9% of tweets were deflected to a different channel for resolution. The highest deflector was Lowes (23%) and the lowest is @jcpenney (1.7%).
Overall, the industries that deflected the lowest amount were airlines (2%) and telecommunications (2%).
5 Key Learnings from the Study
Summarized well in a post over at Conversocial’s blog, the company has 5 key lessons for brands:
- If the customer wanted to phone or email, they would have done so
- The customer may have already tried traditional channels
- Deflection decreases positive brand visibility
- Customers are Tweeting issues while in stores and restaurants
- Leading companies are deflecting under 3% of queries