Conversocial has released two studies this year, one for the UK and another for the US, showing how well retailers are responding to customers on Social Media: Facebook in particular.

According to a Reuter’s article titled Stores let Facebook complaints go unanswered,  Joshua March, chief executive officer of Conversocial said that Retailers did not respond to 65 percent of complaints and questions on their Facebook pages during a five-day period in September 2011.

It appears that retailers set up their facebook pages with the expectation of reaching out to customers but some fail to respond when customers complain to them. “A lot of them probably set up these Facebook pages as marketing channels and have not considered them as customer service channels,” March told Reuters.

Of those who responded on their Facebook wall, the response generally came within one to four hours.

a. Sears topped the list, followed by Safeway and Walmart.

b. The worst offenders surveyed by Conversocial were Costco Wholesale, Dillards, Kmart and Krogers.

One of the best quotes from this study, conveys the impact on customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

“When Problems are left unresolved on a page, they attract empathy from other fans, creating an even bigger expression of dissatisfaction. Customers will rally against a company. Social networks encourage communities, and the last thing you want to do is to foster these against your poor service. Your page becomes a terrible advertisement for your company, encouraging others to join the hate club. “

Some companies may take their responses off line. The problem with this approach, is that the complaint stays on the Facebook page and it appears as if the customer has not been responded to. One of the best practices is to respond where the customer has complained indicating that the issue will be handled off line and then working with the customer to post that they have been satisfied.

To read more about this survey, here’s the Conversocial  slide set for the US. White paper links for both US and UK studies follow.Who’s Ignoring Their Customers? A Survey of the Largest US Retailers and Their Use of Social Media

View more documents from Conversocial

Here’s the  US  White Paper:   A Survey of the Largest US Retailers and Their Use of Social Media

Here’s the UK White Paper: Who’s Ignoring Their Customers?

Another useful article:  Nearly One in Four Large Companies provide Customer Service using Facebook

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

2 Responses to “Who is Ignoring their Customers on Social Media?”

  1. Nick Stamoulis Says:

    Social media is both a marketing and customer service tool. Unfortunately, many businesses are only using it for marketing. If you are going to have a conversation with prospects it’s necessary to have the time and resources to dedicate to customer service.

  2. Adele Says:

    Nick, Thanks for your comment.

    The good news is that some organizations have found out about social media and are experimenting in its use. If they are listening at all, to the responses to their marketing, they will get some feedback that looks like they need some service.

    Hopefully Marketing will then realize they need to engage customer service.

    My worry is there are companies who are not engaged with social media at all. And they have no idea what they are missing.


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