“We were banging the drum for social customer service,” explained Josh March, the CEO of social customer service start-up Conversocial, on how he came to found his company in 2010. Last night March and David Tull, from the members-only men’s wear site JackThreads (one of Conversocial’s clients) spoke on the importance of moving customer service into the public realm, which, according to March, “is going to be at least as big as email in the next five years. Or maybe bigger, since it’s easy to tweet.”
Some tips and statistics we picked up from March and Tull:
- Half of consumers are now using social media for support, either to ask questions, complain, or give feedback.
- That number’s growing: Jackthreads sees a 5% feedback increase every week through social interaction.
- 30% of Tweeters contacting a brand expect a response in a half hour.
- A study by American Express found that the people who complain on social media are, overall, the most vocal customers…
- …which means brands better respond to them. 88% of social media users said they’d be less likely to do business with a company if they saw other consumers’ complaints go unanswered on Facebook
- More often than not, people tweeting about a brand aren’t even using the @ sign, they’re just saying the name. Retailers must look at both kinds of tweets, even if about though two-thirds of the name-only type are irrelevant. The other third, however, are all customer service related.
It boils down to a real risk of brand damage if retailers don’t handle social media feedback properly, but on the other hand, to paraphrase March, you can’t have fashionistas sitting there doing nothing but answering thousands of Facebook posts a day. Thus for clients like JackThreads, Net-a-Porter, and Ben Sherman, Conversocial drives, organizes, and streamlines their customer service via the social networks. Neither Facebook nor Twitter is built to be an efficient venue for this kind of thing, but since that’s what they are now, a tool like Conversocial allows retailers to break down what retailers see in their social networks, and prioritize, respond, tag, and track it.
At a point when it’s important for brands to embrace and stick with digital management tools (really, any tools, so long as they’re consistent about it), a service like Conversocial, which allows for better performance and improved customer data management, should be a no-brainer.