As social media becomes an encompassing aspect of daily life, consumers are slowly becoming conditioned to immediacy and ‘round the clock response times when they contact an organization. In a survey conducted by Spider Marketing detailing the behaviors and attitudes of more than 3,000 consumers, 47 percent of consumers expect responses within an hour of posting on social media, while 84 percent would wait no longer than 24 hours for a response, marking the importance for timeliness and even a sense of urgency when handling inquiries and concerns.
Reviews go a long way
Out of the 3,000 consumers surveyed, nearly half of them said that they would comment on social media regarding their experience with a company. Many digital savvy consumers often turn to company reviews when making purchasing decisions; as a result companies need to have well thought-out response strategies that meet expectations for brand alignment. In the survey, 62 percent said they would avoid using a company after reading negative comments and reviews. However, 75 percent agreed that they would do business if they found positive reviews through social media. Properly utilizing social media is increasingly important as 20 percent of consumers reach out to a company via Facebook; this number rises to 29 percent when only factoring 18 to 34-year-olds.
Personalization and quality of responses
While not responding to reviews is detrimental, not responding appropriately can have a similar effect. Copy and pasting generic responses to concerns can show that the company doesn’t care enough to address individual customer concerns or positive feedback. If the messaging isn’t personalized, consumers will either do business with a competitor or stop leaving positive feedback due to a lack of engagement. If a company is addressing negative feedback, it’s important to respond to the original comment and resolve the issue by personally messaging the consumer.
The future is mobile
I’ve preached this talking point in previous blog posts, but 56 percent of consumers pick up a mobile phone when contacting an organization on social media or via email. While there is a drastic divide between older and younger demographics in digital use, younger generations of customers expect ease of contact on social media and through responsive design elements on websites. As mobile and tablet traffic exceeded desktop traffic in 2014, companies need to put mobile at the forefront of their sales funnels and design choices or risk losing customers to the competitors who do, especially if 47 percent of consumers expect responses within an hour via social media.