The Sprout Social Index
Just over a month ago we wrote a post about the importance of social media customer service. How more people are turning to social media to ask brands questions about products/services, give feedback or make complaints. If businesses aren’t responding to all of their customer’s comments on social media they’re missing out on an opportunity to build long-lasting relationships which will positively reinforce your brands reputation and encourage positive word of mouth. These are just some of the benefits of social media customer service, however recently some rather shocking statistics have been released thanks to Sprout Social’s Social Index telling us how brands are actually performing in this department.
The Social Index takes a look at the evolving social customer care landscape, how businesses are responding to consumers via their social media channels and identifies which industries are excelling while noting those that need improvement. Here are some of the key findings:
- Social networks are the new first point of contact, rather than traditional methods such as email and phone calls however businesses are not keeping up with these changes.
- In the past year, overall inbound message volumes climbed by a massive 77 percent.
- Over the past 12 months there’s been a 100 percent increase in the number of messages to brands that require attention.
- On average brand response times have improved by five percent over the past year however when overlaid with the dip in response rate, it is clear that while businesses might be replying quicker, they are leaving most of their customers with no response at all.
- 5 in 6 messages that need response are NOT answered by brands.
Consumer Engagement Index:
The following chart shows changes from 2013-2014 of the industries with the most inbound engagement on social channels relative to audience size:
Brand Engagement Index:
The following graph shows changes from 2013-2014 of the industries that were the most responsive to inbound messages from their audience on social channels:
Government, internet/technology, and professional services saw the biggest increases in messages needing responses while utilities, retail and real estate saw the smallest increase.
These two stats would have to be the most shocking: the BEST response rate of Q2 2014 is the utilities industry but only 3 in 10 messages are responded to. Yes you heard correctly, this is the BEST response rate… and it’s only 30%. The worst was media/entertainment with 1 in 10 messages responded to but it’s kind of beside the point. Think about how many consumers are posting to brands Facebook/Twitter pages asking questions or seeking assistance and getting absolutely nothing in return.
(Ok, just a warning I’m about to go on a little rant now but stick with me). Imagine you’ve just purchased a brand new car and want to ask a question about one of the features, so you decide to ring up the car dealership. Would the dealership employee on the other line just ignore you, not speak at all? No, they wouldn’t! Some people might not think that this example is the same as not responding to a customer on Facebook, but i sure do! The fact that social media is also now the first point of contact suggests I’m not alone either. Businesses need to move with the times. If they aren’t responding to comments, they shouldn’t have social media networks at all (personal opinion). They’ll do nothing for their brand perception, customer loyalty and may drive certain people to turn to competitors who have better customer service skills.
Have you had a good/bad experience with social media customer service? If you own a business, are you responding to your customers comments?