Most business owners are passionate about customer service. They know that the way they treat their customers is one of the few factors that’s absolutely within their control. When hiring front line staffers, choosing friendly and personable individuals who can make customers are welcome and valued is so important. You’d never tolerate anyone in that role who ignored 8 out of every 10 customers who approached them – but that’s exactly what’s happening on social media.
Sprout Social recently researched social media responsiveness rates in several industries. They took a look at what percentage of posts were customer service inquiries that merited a response, what percentage of those posts were responded to, and how long it took for a reply to arrive. Retailers will be glad to hear they were the best-performing industry – but their top ranking means only 19% of all customer service inquiries that needed a response actually got one. That’s roughly equivalent to 4 out of every 5 customers being completely ignored.
Are Bad Bots Responsible for Abysmal Customer Service Rates on Social Media?
In this Glossy article, you’ll read that some brands are attributing their social media customer service issues to chatbots that claimed to use human beings to answer inquiries, but were instead relying on automated robotic scripts that really failed to provide a satisfying customer experience.
Moving forward, it’s important for brands to understand the current limits of chatbot technology. Chatbots are ideal for fielding repetitive, time-consuming questions, such as “Is your store open right now?” or “Has my order shipped?” When the customer service question is more complicated, it’s necessary for a human customer service rep to enter the conversation. The best chatbots make this process seamless, with the entire focus being providing the best customer service experience possible.
Will chatbots ever be able to field all customer service inquiries via social media effectively? Perhaps, but that day is currently far in the future. Meanwhile, a minimum of 80% of customer service inquiries are going unanswered.
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Committed to Doing Better than Average? 3 Things You Need To Know About Your Response Rate
1) Check Your Response Rate Regularly.
On a weekly basis, consider how many customer service inquiries came into your business via social media. Make sure to check all of your platforms, including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. How many inquiries were responded to? Who responded? How long did it take for a response to be generated? Document the answers and share this information with appropriate team members, because the behaviors you measure are the behaviors you can control and improve.
2) Examine Your Customer Service Processes.
One of the main reasons businesses have a hard time maintaining acceptable social media response times is because there’s no clearly articulated process in place to address these inquiries. Central to improving response rates is having expectations and responsibilities made clear to all team members. Integrate this information into your customer service training, and make ongoing support available.
3) Faster Response Times are Rewarded
Facebook rewards businesses that prioritize customer service on social media with a “Very responsive to messages” badge. This badge increases the likelihood that other customers will feel confident reaching out to you via social media.