Corporate Eye

Brand Social Customer Service is Failing Consumers

question marksConsumers want social customer service, but according to the fourth quarter 2014 data from Social Bakers’ Socially Devoted study, consumers are very disappointed in the customer service they’re actually receiving from brands on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

To put this problem into perspective, Social Bakers reports that the telecom industry offered the best social customer service during the fourth quarter of 2014, but even that industry leaves a lot to be desired. If you asked a question via social media that was directed to a telecom brand during that time period, there was a 33% chance it would be answered if asked on Facebook and only a 14% chance if it had been asked on Twitter. And that’s the best performing industry! No wonder consumers are disappointed in the social customer service they receive from brands.

What all companies need to understand is that social media isn’t just for brand marketing. Consumers expect companies to offer customer service through brand social media profiles and pages, too. In the retail industry, the demand for social customer service increased by 22.1% during the fourth quarter of 2014! Other industries where the demand for social customer service increased the most during the fourth quarter are e-commerce (up 20.5%), software (up 17.2%), services (up 14.4%), and industrial (up 13.8%).

Social Bakers points out that providing customer service via social media increases social interactions with “socially devoted” brands getting 3.4-times more interactions than “non-socially devoted” brands. In other words, every one of those interactions could lead to a conversion or sale—directly or indirectly.

The Top 5 Brands Offering Social Customer Service

The five brands that provided the most social customer service on Facebook during the fourth quarter of 2014 were:

  1. KLM – 99.1% response rate and 99 minutes response time
  2. Robi Axiata Limited – 99.0% response rate and 20 minutes response time
  3. Grameenphone – 95.9% response rate and 88 minutes response time
  4. Banglalink Meia – 98.8% response rate and 41 minutes response time
  5. Telkomsei – 65.3% response rate and 35 minutes response time

The five brands that provided the most social customer service on Twitter during the fourth quarter of 2014 were:

  1. Telkomsei – 70.6% response rate and 7 minutes response time
  2. STC – 81.6% response rate and 32 minutes response time
  3. ASOS Here to Help – 71.1% response rate and 316 minutes response time
  4. Virgin Media – 67.6% response rate and 256 minutes response time
  5. O2 in the UK – 67.6% response rate and 371 minutes response time

Follow the link at the beginning of this article to get the full top 10 brand lists as well as all of the statistics from the Social Bakers study.

One thing is certain, consumers want brands to offer customer service via social media, and they expect the response rate to be high and the response time to be low. If you’re not delivering on those wants and expectations, you’re disappointing your customers.

Image: Benito LeGrande

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.