Social networking has become an essential component in a successful customer service program today. As more customers turn to outlets like Facebook and Twitter to voice their complaints and ask questions, companies must come onboard to respond to customers in a whole new venue. The following 10 companies are doing the best job of extending their customer service to their social media, according to Socialbakers.
The Top Industries on Social Media
Interestingly, some of the industries that scored the highest in customer service through social media are not notorious for high quality service through other channels. For example, airlines, finance and telecommunications companies are at the top of the social media list, even though their service reputations are far from positive. The rest of the top 10 list of industries on social media are as follows:
• All Brands
• FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods sold quickly at a low price)
Two of these industries, finance and retail, showed the greatest gains in social media service between 2012 and 2013. However, all of the industries on this list improved between 2012 and 2013, although some did so on a much smaller scale.
Top 10 Companies
The top 10 companies for social media engagement were chosen by four factors; number of Facebook followers, number of questions posted to the Facebook wall, time taken to respond to those questions, and the percentage of questions that actually receive responses. The top companies for Facebook service in 2013 include:
• Virgin Mobile USA
• Boost Mobile
• U.S. Cellular
• Cox Communication
• Best Buy
• American Airlines
Two of these companies, T-Mobile and Cox Communications responded to customer questions on Facebook in less than one hour. The longest wait for a response came from Sprint, at 942 minutes. Nearly all of the companies on this list responded to at least 90 percent of the questions posted on their Facebook page. The exceptions were Sprint (74.53%) and Best Buy (88.24%).
Some of the companies has a Facebook following in the millions, including T-Mobile, Sprint, DISH and Best Buy. LifeProof, a company that offers protective cases for Smartphones, iPods and tablets, had the smallest Facebook following at 170,285. This company also had the second slowest response time of any company on the list, making customers wait as long as 870 minutes for a response.
It is important to note that despite the variances in statistics for these companies, all were well above the industry benchmarks for Facebook service. Benchmarks include wait times of 920 minutes before questions were answered and only about 50-percent response rate on all the questions posted.
Socialbakers began offering analytics for social media service in 2012. This new standard, dubbed “Socially Devoted,” addresses brands, industries and companies that incorporate social media into their customer service package. The company primarily provides analytics for Facebook and Twitter, but the numbers used can translate to other social mediums as well.
While there is still work to be done in the area of social media customer service, it is clear that some companies are embracing the idea of using social networks to interact more effectively with their customers.