Do You Make Any of These Big Facebook Customer Service Mistakes?

If you offer social customer support, you need to make sure you're avoiding the biggest industry fails as highlighted in a new report.

Social media has been named the future of customer experience, however just having a presence on the right platforms for your target audience is far from enough to provide a great customer experience, as new research by Locowise has unveiled.

They discovered that despite the prominence of social media in customer service, just 2 per cent of customers favour this contact point over other support services.

In addition, a third (33 per cent) said that social customer service does not meet their expectations. Partly because they never get a response (44 per cent) and partly because the answer took too long to arrive (37 per cent stated that it took more than a week when they were expecting a response within minutes).

SEE ALSO: Getting Social Media Right: How to Hashtag Your Brand

To uncover how true these survey findings were, Locowise tracked more than 900 Facebook pages with almost 300 million page likes in total. They looked at their customer support activities in the month of May and for 51 per cent of pages they looked at pages that have enabled the ability for people to publish posts on their page timelines, which the study focused on.

This research concluded some staggering statistics, including:

  • A majority of posts to the pages go unanswered - 65 per cent of pages that enabled the publishing ability didn't respond to any of the posts, that translates to not a single response to almost 4,000 posts. 87 per cent of all posts across the board went unanswered.
  • Even active pages only respond to a third of posts - Of those that actively did respond, 37 per cent of all posts were replied to. 10.5 per cent of pages that actively replied did respond to all the posts on their timelines but they all had 3 or less posts in total during the month.
  • Just a third of responses came through within an hour - Of the people that did get a response to their post, 33 per cent got the response within 60 minutes of posting. 12 per cent got a response between 1 and 2 hours after posting, 15 per cent got a response between 2 and 4 hours after and 9 per cent got a response between 4 and 8 hours. For 10 per cent it took 8 to 12 hours and for 21 per cent it took from 12 hours to 24 hours.

SEE ALSO: What Social Media Channel is Right For You?

So what can you learn from the above numbers?

It is clear that acknowledging posts made to your timeline by "fans" is important and that this is done in a timely manner. Just ignoring their messages, especially when people are asking for support, will only cause aggravation and can lead to an "unlike" both on Facebook and offline.

In their report, Locowise recommends companies to take the following steps to improve the customer service they provide on Facebook (which applies to other social media channels too):

"You don't necessarily need to go the extra mile. Responses do not need to be very advanced and take you a long time. You could simply thank the customer for the feedback or point the customer to the FAQ section of your official site.

"Some questions might not have simple responses so getting a customer support representative to reply would be ideal. Your customer support team could access your Facebook page and seek out posts to respond to. Or you could ping them the questions manually and they can send you a response for you to post. While waiting to hear back from your customer support team, a simple "Thanks, we're looking into this and will get back to you shortly" will suffice.

"Ideally you should acknowledge every post that you get if nothing else than just to say "Thanks for being a fan". Your customers are taking their time to write to you so they should hear something back. If you're not able to respond to all posts, you should at the very least respond to any posts that raise concerns or complain about your product or service.ã?쳌