A new study from Conversocial examines consumer expectations and attitudes around brand interactions on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Do consumers truly expect two-way communication? If so, are brands listening and responding – and what happens when they don’t?
According to Conversocial, “The future of communication between companies and their customers lies in social media.” Just over 50% of consumers currently use social media to communicate with corporations; 78% of respondents believe that social media platforms will either soon entirely replace other means of customer service or become the dominant way for consumers to communicate with corporations.
So how successful are companies at fostering two-way communication with consumers on social media, and what are consumer expectations?
- The majority – 62% of consumers – expect companies to both “offer discounts, news, and other useful stuff” and “listen to praises and complaints”
- Nearly a third (32.5%) of respondents who communicated with brands on social media were either neglected or completely ignored
- 45% of consumers surveyed said they feel angry when ignored by companies on social media sites; 27% will stop doing business with that company
- However, 28% understand that companies don’t have time to respond to each customer individually
- A whopping 88% of respondents are somewhat or far less likely to buy from a brand that has unanswered customer complaints on the brand’s social media site
- Almost 33% of respondents chose “poor” or “very poor” as their level of satisfaction with the way companies use social media to communicate with consumers, vs. only 8% that were “thoroughly satisfied”
- The majority – nearly 60% – expressed “guarded optimism” about positive future developments in brand/consumer interactions on social media
A white paper series entitled “Who’s Ignoring their Customers,” released in fall 2011 by Conversocial, revealed that retailers are struggling to deliver effective customer service on Facebook, and that over 60% of complaints and questions were neglected by US stores. 30% of the major American retailers studied ignored 100% of the issues posted to their pages – and didn’t even attempt to respond to their customers. Based on the data above, these companies will be losing customers unless they quickly begin to respond on social media channels.
The study was based on the responses of 513 individuals reached via social networking sites, forums and email. Click here to download the full study: The Consequences of Ignoring Your Customers, A Survey of Consumer Expectations for Customer Service on Social Media Platforms.