Successful social customer service needs to be implemented from the top-down. Otherwise, social media customer service efforts, while meaningful, will have much less of an impact.

A recent survey from Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) delved into the specifics of negative social media comments and how businesses go about dealing with social customer service, specifically complaints. The social customer service survey collected data from 1,036 marketers, social media strategists, C-Level executives, and entrepreneurs. SMMU discovered a surprising lack of businesses actually follow through with communication to complaints on social media.

Here are some key findings from the social media customer service survey with regard to:

The impact of poor social customer service:

  • 26.1% say their brand’s reputation has been tarnished as a result of negative social media posts
  • 15.2% have lost customers from social media complaints
  • 11.4% have lost revenue due to poor social media customer service

The implications of a shift from traditional customer service to social media customer service:

  • 58.2% of brands receive customer complaints via social media occasionally
  • 10.9% receive them somewhat often
  • 4.9% receive them very often

Moreover, the majority of consumers who seek social media customer service expect a response within 1 hour. But, only 17.6% of brands strive to respond to customer complaints on social media within an hour. Further, 52.2% respond within 24 hours, and 21.4% percent rarely or never respond. Leaving us to wonder, WTF?!

Why is it that 1/5 of brands suck at social customer service?
Part of the problem may lie in the fact that the corporate executives have not yet fully accepted that social media is evolving as more than a means to connect, but as a means to complain.

Executives need to embrace and implement social media customer service and learn that people have come to expect a swift and tact reply to customer service issues raised via Twitter, Facebook, and the like.

Study: Most Brands Are Not Prepared To Manage Negative Social Comments