With technology growing everyday, and social media becoming more prevalent, it is important for businesses to not lose sight of the value of quality customer service. Individuals expect to receive immediate responses, whether answers are provided through a telephone call or through a tweet.
A recent study released by STELLAservice, found that only 44 percent of customer service questions posted via Twitter were answered within 24 hours. The study involved 1,125 tweets delivered between April 1 and May 15 to the Internet's top 25 retailers, including Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart. The two companies that scored the highest were Zappos and L.L. Bean. Only those two responded to every tweet posted within 24 hours.
"It's becoming clear that social media-savvy consumers are an incredibly important segment of any company's customer base," said STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser. "By failing to take Twitter seriously as a customer service channel, companies may be inadvertently ignoring some of their best customers at their own peril."
The 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer also reported that social media has raised the stakes for customer service. Consumers who take advantage of the newer technologies tell more people about their experiences and say they would spend 21 percent more on companies that deliver great service.
In general though, quality customer service has taken a drastic turn, according to the American Express survey. Approximately nine out of of ten Americans surveyed (93 percent) said companies failed to meet their service expectations, while 55 percent walked away from an intended purchase in the last year because of a poor experience.
Newer technologies are meant to give businesses greater means to communicate with customers, and not drive a wedge between them. With the aid of a third party answering service, managers can rest assured that every customer is treated as a priority, whether the communication is done through a phone call, email, text message or other channel.