Consumers in have high expectations for both increased speed and attentiveness for customer service over social media channels. A cross-industry survey of 589 individuals conducted in May 2012 by Assistant Professor Liel Leibovitz of Communications at New York University revealed the following:
- More than half of consumers (55%) surveyed called their experience of communicating with brands via social media "disappointing" or "mediocre."
- Approximately 30 percent of respondents said they expected companies to reply within hours when contacted via social media; 16.6 percent expect a response in less than 10 minutes; 13.1 percent less than an hour; 29.2 percent said within the same business day.
- Supermarket, retail banking and telecommunications sectors were found to be the least effective at communicating with customers via social media, while department store and dining sectors were the most effective.
The study, entitled, “The Company You Keep: A Sector- and Company-Specific Analysis of Consumer Satisfaction with Communicating with Retail Corporations via Social Media Platforms,” measured sentiment across eight different industries to rate the best and worst in social customer service. The eight sectors and 38 companies featured in the survey were selected from a list compiled by Stores Magazine, the trade publication of the National Retail Federation.
Other surprising 'takeaways' from the survey include:
- Subway beat Starbucks, McDonald's and Burger King in the dining category.
- Best Buy beat Apple in the electronics market (not by much, but still remarkable).
- Target swept the department store category, with a comfortable lead.
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