Gone are the days of 9-5 hours and in-person-only interactions. Today’s businesses are global marketplaces with no beginning or end time.
Social media has made it so.
Your brick-and-mortar office may hang its closed sign at 5 p.m., but your customers – particularly those who may be upset – will take to Facebook and Twitter to reach you. And when they do, the expectation is an almost immediate response.
According to a study conducted by Lithium Technologies, 53 percent of customers expect a company to respond to their Tweet in less than an hour. For customers who have complaints, that quick response time jumps to 72 percent of those surveyed.
When customers feel that businesses fail to meet these expectations, “60 percent will take unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction,” according to the study.
Facebook users give a bit more leeway, with an expected response within 24 hours, according to Social Media Today. Even before the Facebook message is sent, the social media giant seemingly grades companies on their responsiveness to customers. Below the cover photo, a green message box on a business page tells users that the page has “responded to at least 90 percent of messages and maintained a median response time of 5 minutes for all replies sent over the last 7 days,” according to a thread on Facebook.
How can any business keep up with these increasingly higher demands for immediate response and gratification? Take a deep breath and follow these tips.
- Keep an eye (and ear) on notifications
Facebook and Twitter (as well as Google+) send notifications when someone mentions you, or sends you a message on any of these networks. Make a point to listen for these on your mobile device and look at them as they trickle in.
- Just respond
Don’t leave your customers in social media limbo. Thank them for their comment, for following you or for reaching out to you. Even if an immediate “answer” is not available, let them know that you are working on it. Keep in mind that what you say and how/when you respond are paramount, particularly in a social media-driven world. An unhappy customer will share your response literally with the world.
- “Listen” to conversations
Use keywords to monitor what people are saying on the various social networks about you, your competitors and your products/services in general. Just like at a party, it’s easier to contribute to the conversation when you know what people are saying.
For more tips on how best to manage your social media responses, call Theresa Katalinas at 215-519-8833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.