Tweet, email or call


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Tweet, email or call

  1. 1. ! Tweet, Email or Call?
 Which Brands are Re-directing Social Media Complaints to Traditional Channels
  2. 2. 1 Keeping it on Social ! Social customer service is now fully established as a consumer expectation across all industries. One in three social media users prefers to reach out to a brand over social for customer service and 63% want companies to offer social service1. ! Yet, many brands fail to resolve customer issues within social media, instead deflecting them to other channels. By monitoring for Tweets sent between August 14th and August 21st that contained either an e-mail address or telephone number, we were able to identify which brands sought to deflect people to other channels for customer service issues. Brands in a range of industries such as retail, airline, telecom, finance and restaurants all redirected customers when faced with customer service issues on Twitter. ! The extent to which brands sent deflective Tweets varied considerably from a low of 0.21% to a high of 43.5%. Similarly, the channel to which customers were deflected varied across the industries, with phone being leveraged in 16% to 100% of deflective Tweets and e-mail in 0% to 84% of cases. ! ! This report looks at differences in deflection practices on an industry-by-industry basis. 98% 76% 19% 42% Customers who were given an e-mail address or telephone number but didn’t ask for it! Conversations that did not result in a further interaction after the brand suggested they switch channel Customers who responded to say they had already tried the suggested channel or preferred social service Customer Tweets ignored by brands when they objected to switching channel Methodology For this study we set out to identify which brands ask customers to switch channels and why they do this.! ! This report is based on the Twitter activity of brands with more than 5,000 followers and a physical presence in the 
 United States. We further focused on brands that sent responses containing either an e-mail address or toll free telephone number between August 14th and August 21st. To identify these Tweets we used Conversocial’s proactive search feature, which takes advantage of DataSift’s access to the full Twitter firehose.! ! ! Brands were then ranked based on the number of Tweets fitting these criteria. Those with less than 21 eligible Tweets were removed. Personal Twitter accounts and accounts relating to sole proprietors were also removed. ! After analyzing the data, it emerged that the primary industries the companies came from were retail, airline, telecom, finance and restaurants. Accordingly, we decided to focus on these industries to identify any differences and trends.! ! In total there were 29 brands included in this study (10 retailers, four airlines, five telecoms, seven finance companies and three restaurants).
  3. 3. Retailers ! Lowes and Walmart top the deflection list @Lowes redirected a higher percentage of Tweets than any other retailer, with almost a quarter of all Tweets being deflected (23%). ! Although Walmart’s deflection percentage was half of this, at 11%, a much higher number of tweets overall meant they sent 232 deflecting Tweets (containing either an email address or telephone number to customers seeking help) during the period, more than any other company analyzed in this report. ! Retail & in-store Tweeting One key advantage of social media for retailers is the ability to obtain real-time feedback from customers who are Tweeting while still in-store. ! of Tweets sent to the retail brands observed 14% were from customers who were experiencing problems in-store. This is not surprising considering 80% of consumers admit to using their mobile phones in-store to enhance their shopping experience2. While many customers do this for price comparison and product advice reasons, it is clear some customers prefer to interact digitally rather than in-person. ! puts a lot of pressure on retailers to respond This quickly, as up to 20% of customers expect a response within 15 minutes3. For those Tweeting in-store, a slow response may be worthless to the customer who has already left. ! ! Average % Deflected: 9% Top 5 types of deflected retail Tweets Type of Tweet deflected Percentage General dissatisfaction 54% Store issue (Tweeting in-store) 5% General question 4% The importance of setting expectations One way in which retailers can reduce customer dissatisfaction is by ensuring customers are aware of their hours of operation and by making it clear as to the type of issues that can be dealt with on social. ! However, only four (@WarbyParkerHelp, @Macys, @JCPenney and @CarMax) of the 10 retail brands provided any indication in their Twitter descriptions that customers should use alternative channels for customer service related issues. Even when setting such expectations, customers generally expect a quick resolution on social. In fact, one in three social media users prefer social care to channels such as telephone4. ! Why social service makes sense for retail Unlike industries such as airlines, telecoms and finance that may have complex products or external factors affecting their ability to provide social service, retailers are generally well placed to provide great service wherever customers want it. ! Conversocial retail client JackThreads now sees 10% of its customer service volume come from social media. This proves extremely beneficial for the ecommerce retailer, who ranked seventh in Internet Retailer’s study of brands that received the highest percentage of traffic to their website from social media5. Social is a huge opportunity for retailers to drive traffic and encourage consumers to make a purchase. ! ! ! ! ! Deflection channels 5% Order query / change to order @BedBathBeyond, @CarMax, @JCPenney, 
 @JustFabOnline, @Kohls, @Lowes, @Macys, 
 @PepboysAuto, @WarbyParkerHelp,@Walmart
 14% Product fault / damaged delivery 2 Email Phone 17% 83%
  4. 4. Airlines ! 3 @AmericanAir, @DeltaAssist, @JetBlue, @United
 Travelers want 24/7 social service Many will be familiar with the British Airway’s Twitter incident in which a customer spent $1,000 to promote a Tweet highlighting British Airway’s lack of 24/7 customer service and the slow resolution of a lost luggage complaint ( ! the fact that nearly 1 in 3 social media Despite users prefer to reach out to a brand on social for customer service4, each of the 4 airlines studied in this report indicated on their profiles that customers should use alternative channels for a guaranteed response. ! SimpliFlying’s finding that 81% of Tweets to airlines were service related only serves to underscore the fact that social customer service is vital to airlines6.
 ! Sorry, we’re closed for the day! When looking at Tweets sent by the airlines, @United was the only airline that Tweeted to advise that their social team was about to close for the evening, should the customer have sent them a service related Tweet near closing time. ! was welcomed by some, but for those who This Specifically, social teams at airlines might have trouble offering assistance to passengers who have lost their luggage - instead requiring the customer to contact the lost luggage team directly. While the British Airways promoted Tweet event occurred after our monitoring period for this study, we found that 12% of the deflected airline Tweets related to lost luggage. ! Airlines prefer to deflect to telephone The airlines studied are unique in deflecting 100% of their customers to a toll-free number rather than deflecting any to e-mail, possibly due to the complex nature of airline reservations. ! passengers wanting to make reservations this For can turn out to be an expensive deflection as airlines frequently charge a fee of up to $25 for telephone reservations. ! addition to the potential cost to customers, the In cost to airlines can be high too, as telephone service is up to 5x more expensive than e-mail7. Meanwhile, companies who embrace the right social tool may allow agents to process up to 10x more interactions, providing even further cost savings for airlines.5 had just missed the last flight of the day this response was perceived as unhelpful and often resulted in negative sentiment. ! when the airlines were available to respond Even to Tweets, it was clear that the agents involved in responding were not able to deal with common issues airline passengers are likely to require assistance with. ! ! !Average % Deflected: 2% ! !Top 5 types of deflected airline Tweets ! Type of Tweet deflected Percentage Reservation / rebooking 36% Frequent flyer program 22% Technical support (website / app) 17% Lost luggage 12% General dissatisfaction 10% Deflection channels Email Phone 0% 100%
  5. 5. Telecoms 4 ! High volumes, low deflection percentage Telecoms stand out as an industry with one of the lowest deflection rates (2%) despite having some of the highest volumes of social customer service issues. @TMobileHelp and @SprintCare sent more deflection Tweets (containing either an e-mail address or telephone number in response to a customer service related Tweet) than anyone else in the report other than @Walmart, despite these being a low overall percentage (6% for T-Mobile and 2% for Sprint). ! Reducing deflection through in-channel questioning Sprint showed real efforts towards trying to identify whether a customer’s problems were the result of known service issues by asking for their zipcode and general location. Sprint sent an average 2.9 Tweets before asking customers to email or phone, allowing them to reduce the percentage of customers they had to refer to another channel for support (2%) - compared to Tmobile sending an average of one Tweet before deflecting, and having a deflection percentage three times higher (6%). ! Considering 20% of deflected Tweets sent to telecom brands were regarding a service disruption, engaging with customers to triage issues early on and providing proactive service announcements could help maintain positive sentiment and provide customers with the answers they need faster and more effectively than deflecting to other channels. @ATTCustomerCare, @SprintCare! @TMobileHelp, @VMUCare, @VZWSupport
 Verizon leads the way for in-channel social customer service ! sending more Tweets overall than any other Despite brand in the report (8,412 during the period studied), Verizon had an impressive deflection rate of just 0.21%, well below the 2% average for Telecoms and significantly below anyone else studied. ! proves that if social customer service is taken This seriously, the vast majority of customer issues can be handled without deflecting customers to traditional service channels. Verizon are clearly leading the way for other brands. ! Room for improvement? Although Verizon are clearly leading the way forward, and overall Telecoms had a low deflection rate compared to other industries, there were some practices noted which go against best practice recommendations:
 ! @TMobileHelp quoted its e-mail address in a • format that is designed to prevent it from receiving spam but results in the customer needing to translate TForce[@]T-Mobile[DOT]com into an actual e-mail address - especially inconvenient if the customer is Tweeting from a mobile phone. • @ATTCustomerCare tries to keep things personal, with agents taking ownership of an issue and advising the customer of their working hours. However, in some cases the agent’s hours are less than AT&T’s advertised hours, leaving doubt as to whether this personalized approach is beneficial to the customer compared to a more collaborative workflow. Average % Deflected: 2% Deflection channels Top 5 types of deflected telecom Tweets Type of Tweet deflected Percentage General dissatisfaction 37% Service disruption / coverage 20% Billing / account issue 9% Question 9% Product fault / damaged delivery 5% Email Phone 25% 75%
  6. 6. Finance ! 5 @AskAmex, @AskCapitalOne, @AskCiti, @Simplify,
 @Ask_WellsFargo, @BofA_Help, @ChaseSupport
 Operating in a regulated environment A key issue preventing many companies in regulated industries from being early adopters is the silence of regulators in response to new technologies. 
 It is never immediately clear whether new technologies require new regulation or whether current regulation is sufficient. The result is that some organizations may be unwilling to get too involved until clarification is provided for them, whereas others are more willing to get involved and take a precautionary approach to ensure risks are well managed. ! Generally speaking, financial institutions show positive signs on social, having deflected only 6% of their Tweets - considerably less than retailers (9% average deflection) and restaurants (21% average deflection). ! financial firms in the United States, For clarification on what is good practice on social was provided in January 2013 by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which issued guidance for consumer interactions8. ! summary provided by eModeration confirms A that “the same standards applied in traditional forms of communication should be adhered to on social media platforms”9. Although guidance from the FFIEC is not binding, it suggests all financial firms have in place a risk management program regardless of whether they have chosen to actively participate in social media. ! The need to stay alert and get involved The FFIEC has acknowledged the fact that negative comments and complaints can still arise regardless of the brand’s participation on social, and has accordingly stated that there is a need for financial institutions to be prepared for this. ! suggested risk management program for social The media highlights the need to utilize employee training of procedures and policies, have an effective way to archive content for future audits, as well as sufficient reporting functions to report activity and performance to the board of directors or senior management. ! Therefore, it is unsurprising that financial brands are relatively active on social. But what is particularly interesting is the type of deflected Tweets. Almost a quarter of all Tweets deflected by financial organizations were related to their website or mobile app not working as intended. ! up to 51% of U.S. adults using online banking With and 35% using mobile banking10, social media (often from a smart-phone) is a convenient digital channel to seek technical support. Yet, it is clear that many financial brands are not yet well equipped to deal with these queries. ! than 1/5 of the deflected tweets were product More specific rather than account specific, which in many cases can be answered publicly. This suggests that many financial institutions are cautiously deflecting everything regardless of whether it is necessary, and that some simple changes could decrease deflection rates and increase customer satisfaction. Average % Deflected: 6% Top 5 types of deflected finance Tweets Type of Tweet deflected Percentage Technical support (website / app) 24% Product Question 22% General dissatisfaction 20% Fraud concern / notification 7% Lost card / not received replacement 6% Deflection channels Email Phone 12% 88%
  7. 7. Restaurants ! High expectations but poor social service When it comes to restaurants, customers have high expectations for both speed and quality of service, especially in the context of fast food or casual dining restaurants. 6 @Chilis, @DunkinDonuts, @Wendys
 Too little, too late? For restaurants, the ability to right a wrong is difficult. Customers will have either consumed or disposed of the problem product, and while many will include a photo with their Tweet, it’s not as easy to offer a satisfactory resolution. ! all the industries noted in this report, it appears ! Of that some restaurants are the least prepared to deal with customer service issues on social, having deflected an average of 21% of all Tweets. ! @Wendys performed the best at 9% While deflection, @DunkinDonuts and @Chilis were much higher, at 30% and 43% respectively significantly higher than any other brands in the report. ! ! Opportunities to improve Seeking feedback on social could help food brands improve their frontline stores, as 80% of customers failed to continue the conversation on social after a deflection. While some may have sent an e-mail, it’s unlikely all of them did, meaning the opportunity for actionable feedback was lost. ! ! ! ! ! Average % Deflected: 21% Top 5 types of deflected Tweets Type of Tweet deflected Percentage General dissatisfaction 39% Product specific issue 34% Dissatisfaction (Tweet from restaurant) 16% Other 8% Store specific issue 3% Deflection channels Email Phone 16% 84%
  8. 8. Conclusion ! Brands acknowledge that social customer service is different Redirecting customers away from their chosen support channel is one of the worst customer service experiences possible - forcing customers to repeat themselves in a form they haven’t chosen. 65% of customers report that first contact resolution is the most important part of a good customer service experience11. The only way for brands to provide the in-channel resolution over social that their customers expect is to have a dedicated team of customer service agents equipped with the tools necessary to respond publicly and discuss privately within social media channels. ! The ability to do private communication within social media (direct messages in Twitter, private messages in Facebook) means that the vast majority of customer service issues can be handled without deflecting to another channel (aside from regulated areas which may entail secure communication channels). In order to ensure the highest customer satisfaction, we recommend that brands handle customer service issues in the same channel to which they are received, wherever possible. Even in regulated industries secure web forms can be used alongside social media to provide as seamless an experience as possible. ! For situations in which require switching channels, we recommend communicating with the customer publicly on social after the issue has been resolved - Conversocial clients have reported that 50% of customers engaged with in this way will follow up with a public Tweet or response highlighting the good service they have received. ! Not only does this give a better experience for customers, publicly (leading to increased customer loyalty and brand advocacy), but it is also more efficient and cost effective for brands - Gartner has found that social agents are able to handle 4-8 times more issues per hour than a phone agent. The fact that the leaders in each industry have extremely low deflection rates highlights the fact that it’s possible to provide great social customer service. Verizon, JC Penney and Bank of America in particular all have deflection rates far below their industry averages. Category Average Deflection Rate Highest Deflector Lowest Deflector Retailers 9% Lowes (23.01%) jcpenney (1.72%) Airlines 2% DeltaAssist (3.35%) AmericanAir (1.60%) Telecoms 2% TMobileHelp (6.74%) VZWSupport (0.21%) Finance 6% Ask_WellsFargo (17.53%) BofA_Help (2.89%) Restaurants 21% Chilis (43.5%) Wendys (9.22%) Learn how Conversocial can help Conversocial is the market-leading software for social customer service, featuring customer records and collaboration to allow agents to deliver full in-channel resolution within social media. ! Our social customer service experts can provide you with the training, guidance and process to allow agents to start providing customer service over social channels. ! ###################! ##################! get in touch now
  9. 9. Appendix: table of featured brands and metrics ! Note: “original total” refers to the number of Tweets sent containing either an e-mail address or telephone number between August 14 2013 and August 21 2013. The “adjusted total” reflects the total after Tweets were removed because they had been deleted by the brand, the brand also offered to deal with the issue on social, the was no customer service issue or the e-mail or telephone number quoted was that of a third party (such as an insurer of cell phones).! ! Rank Category Twitter Handle Tweets! w/ e-mails Tweets! w/ phone Adjusted! Total Total All! Tweets Sent Deflection! Percentage 1 Retailers jcpenney 21 6 23 1340 1.72% 2 Retailers WarbyParkerHelp 27 8 23 633 3.63% 3 Retailers BedBathBeyond 21 0 17 307 5.54% 4 Retailers Kohls 57 2 22 306 7.19% 5 Retailers Macys 31 0 31 293 10.58% 6 Retailers CarMax 0 23 15 138 10.87% 7 Retailers Walmart 231 11 232 2083 11.14% 8 Retailers JustFabOnline 0 49 46 234 19.66% 9 Retailers pepboysauto 36 0 35 156 22.44% 10 Retailers Lowes 59 1 55 239 23.01% Rank Category Twitter Handle Tweets! w/ e-mails Tweets! w/ phone Adjusted! Total Total All! Tweets Sent Deflection! Percentage 1 Airlines AmericanAir 0 83 77 4803 1.6% 2 Airlines JetBlue 0 31 25 1204 2.08% 3 Airlines united 0 41 40 1883 2.12% 4 Airlines DeltaAssist 0 59 52 1552 3.35% Rank Category Twitter Handle Tweets! w/ e-mails Tweets! w/ phone Adjusted! Total Total All! Tweets Sent Deflection! Percentage 1 Telecoms VZWSupport 2 34 18 8412 0.21% 2 Telecoms sprintcare 152 2 149 5988 2.49% 3 Telecoms ATTCustomerCare 58 5 54 1522 3.55% 4 Telecoms VMUcare 26 5 27 487 5.54% 5 Telecoms TMobileHelp 179 10 183 2714 6.74% Rank Category Twitter Handle Tweets! w/ e-mails Tweets! w/ phone Adjusted! Total Total All! Tweets Sent Deflection! Percentage 1 Restaurants Wendys 39 2 40 434 9.22% 2 Restaurants DunkinDonuts 9 25 33 109 30.28% 3 Restaurants Chilis 80 0 77 177 43.5%
  10. 10. Rank Category Twitter Handle Tweets! w/ e-mails Tweets! w/ phone Adjusted! Total Total All! Tweets Sent Deflection! Percentage 1 Finance BofA_Help 4 64 66 2285 2.89% 2 Finance AskAmex 3 55 51 1099 4.64% 3 Finance ChaseSupport 1 72 60 718 8.36% 4 Finance Simplify 2 19 16 187 8.56% 5 Finance AskCiti 20 16 35 393 8.91% 6 Finance AskCapitalOne 14 22 34 336 10.12% 7 Finance Ask_WellsFargo 0 75 64 365 17.53% Appendix 2: table of featured industries and preferences Category Tweets! w/ e-mails Tweets! w/ phone Total! w/ either Email! Percentage Phone! Percentage Retailers 483 100 583 83% 17% Airlines 0 214 214 0% 100% Telecoms 417 138 555 75% 25% Finance 44 323 367 12% 88% Restaurants 128 25 153 84% 16% ! Appendix 3: deflection & customer responsiveness Category Deflection Tweets sent as a percentage of all Tweets Percentage of customers! that respond after deflection Retailers 9% 22% Airlines 2% 31% Telecoms 2% 27% Finance 6% 16% Restaurants 21% 20% Sources 1 Conversocial, Making the Case: A Quick Guide to Social Customer Service 2 JiWire, Mobile Audience Insights Report (Q2 2013) 3 Edison Research, The Social Habit 4 Nielsen, State of the Media: The Social Media Report (2012) 5 Conversocial, Jackthreads Case Study 6 Simpliflying, Airlines on Twitter 7 Clickfox, Social Media: An Emerging Customer Service Channel 8 FFIEC, Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance 9 eModeration, Managing Social Media Engagement for Financial Organisations 10 Pew Research Center, Mobile Banking Growth 11 Convergys Customer Scorecard!
  11. 11. To learn more about Conversocial, please visit :