- Many retailers (83%) are ignoring customer questions on the social media, according to a new survey from Sprout Social, while others make people wait an average of 12 hours to for a response.
- Retailers that respond to service requests via Twitter may be using the wrong social media channel, since 7% more inbound messages come from Facebook.
- While there's lots of room for improvement, retail is still the second-most-responsive industry when it comes to social media engagement, Sprout Social says, just behind utilities.
A new study from Sprout Social finds that most retailers aren’t meeting their customers when and where they should on the social media. Retailers’ biggest (and ongoing) failure comes in responding to customer inquiries, the Q4 2015 Sprout Social Index, “Snubbed on Social,” says. Some 83% of retailers routinely ignore customer questions submitted via social channels, while the rest make people wait an average of 12 hours to get a response. The expectation of 42% of customers? A response in 60 minutes or less.
Retailers’ choice of network may also be faulty. Likely aware that it lends itself to one-to-one communication, retailers have ramped up use of Twitter 144% in the last six months, according to Sprout Social, while Facebook actually now handles 7% more service requests. And even though most customers get ignored, they are sending 32% more social media messages to brands in all industries than they did a year ago.
Instead of targeted responses to legitimate concerns, retailers instead are issuing lots of promotions and ads via the social media, Sprout Social adds—about three times as many ads as responses. Promotional messages are seven times as likely to spur action when brands have built prior interaction with the customer, according to a separate survey from Rosetta Consulting, so brands should be more aware of where their customers “live” in the social media and respond to them quickly.