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Social customer care in Australia: a tale of foul wine and varied response time. How do you measure up?


Social media is the place for sharing. Most of what is being shared is of the banal, light hearted sort, like cute cat videos, tweets about what so-and-so had for dinner, and assorted attempts at witticism.

But for brands, social media is a lot more than that. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the go-to place to rant and rave about everything from app updates to foul sushi. When customers are happy, brands get “likes” and other positive feedback. When goods or services fail to meet with customer expectations, though, things can turn ugly, fast.

So, businesses have a major stake in monitoring what’s being said in social media. This fact is something that’s been recognised in the new Social Customer Care Report from Social Pulse.

Specifically, the report hones in on the role of social media customer concerns in Australia. While the report is full of infographics and breakdowns of deeply detailed metrics, some key stats caught our eye around here.

Right off the top, the abstract leading up to the actual report tells us that 20-per cent of Aussies have used Facebook to lob complaints at businesses, and 10-per cent have used it to seek help with a problem.

So we have to wonder, are brands listening?

They want it all, they want it now – social media response time

The telecommunications industry is at the top of the response time game in social media, with an average response time to customer queries is just 3 minutes. They also receive the highest number of customer posts. Nice work, telecom people.

Other decent response times:

  • Retail-Grocery – 22 minutes
  • TV Networks – 15 minutes
  • Banks & Financial Institutions – 54 minutes
  • Airlines – 54 minutes

Not bad, not bad at all.

Who’s not doing so well? The alcohol industry, including beer, wine and cider vendors, falls flat with a response time of 34.25 hours. So, if you pop a cork on your new bottle of wine only to find that it’s dry-rotted and the liquid inside has oxidized, don’t expect an explanation right away. Then again, you’ll probably move on to another libation anyway. Well, most of us here at Anthill would, but that’s another story.

How does your business respond to customers through social media?

So what can you take away from this heavy-duty, info-packed report?

If your business does not have finger on the pulse of social media, chances are you’re not hearing the whole story of what’s being said about your brand. You’re also probably engendering quite a bit of frustration from customers who increasingly expect to find solutions to their problems through social media.

You see, they’re on to us. Every brand worth its salt has a social media presence for marketing purposes, but true to form, customers expect more than mere solicitation from the brands they choose to engage with. Branding through social media is becoming a more well-rounded experience for consumers, who expect to be able to leave a comment or post a tweet (with a corresponding hash tag connected to the brand in question) and get a reaction.

Even better: giving a customer a positive outcome in response to a negative comment, when they’re not expecting it.

How’s your brand engaging with upset – or straight up belligerent – customers through social media? And we’re not talking marketing; we’re talking customer service. Have you measured your social media response time? Who within your organisation is doing the responding?

Inquiring ants want to know.