How Quickly do you Respond to Customers?

One issue we’re currently working on here at Thrifty Foods is the response times to our customers when they reach out to us on social media.

It’s been on our radar for some time to integrate our customer care division with our social media team.

Issues we continue to discuss and consider moving forward are: do our customers expect a response from us at 10pm? Can we reasonably provide the same level of service as our retail locations do – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

There is a lot of research out there about customer service and social media.  I’ve been weighing a lot the information compiled in this great blog post by Heidi Cohen – for those of us that manage a corporate brand’s social media presence – it gives us lots to think about.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • 1 in 6 consumers on Facebook expect a response to their questions in under 30 minutes
  • Although half the average response time is 26 hours from brands, over half of customers expect a same-day or sooner response
  • Facebook is the #1 social network customers expect businesses to answer their questions (surprisingly, Twitter ranked 4th, but this study is from last year and I suspect it would rank higher now)

If you’re not meeting these timelines, don’t feel too badly.  According to this post on Social Bakers, 25% of brands have shut down their wall, so customers can’t even leave a question or comment!  25%!! Talk about missing the point entirely!

We try and respond to someone within 4 hours (but hopefully much sooner).  If they post at 10pm at night, is this reasonable?  At that hour, there are two of us  who have notifications  popping up on our iPhones – and rest assured if it’s something out of the ordinary, or a recall, we’re watching and listening.

Any other community managers out there?  How quickly do you respond to customer inquiries or comments on your social media channels?  Leave a comment below or let’s chat in 2 weeks at camp!

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Marlayne Roberts is a public relations and digital media strategist based in Victoria, BC. She has extensive marketing, social media, public relations, and special events experience from her work in television (CTV Television, Canadian Idol, Juno Awards, The Bachelor Canada) and with some of Canada’s most vibrant brands including The Edmonton Oilers, the legendary Hudson’s Bay Company and now, Thrifty Foods. Her focus at Thrifty Foods is on the company’s digital presence including the web and social channels, working to reflect the in-store experience online. In her spare (?!) time, Sarah also blogs about pop culture and other stuff you shouldn’t live without at STUFF by Sarah and works with small business clients on maximizing their online presence.

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