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Software Advice IndustryView: The Great Social Customer Service Race 2013

We conducted an experiment on Twitter to gauge the social media customer service techniques of 14 major brands. These are the results.

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Software Advice IndustryView: The Great Social Customer Service Race 2013

  1. 1. The Great Social Customer Service Race IndustryView 2013 Trends and best practices from the industry
  2. 2. Abstract Consumers use social media today to gain information or customer service from companies, who often receive thousands of tweets with various requests. To test their response time and ability to help, Software Advice conducted a five-week, 280-tweet social media experiment to gauge their response.
  3. 3. Summary “The Great Social Customer Service Race” was an experiment that tested the social customer service responsiveness of 14 leading consumer brands. Four Software Advice employees tweeted each brand every weekday for four consecutive weeks. Brand responses were judged on speed, efficiency and quality.
  4. 4. Methodology During the first and third weeks, our employees used the brand’s Twitter name with an @ symbol. Using the @ triggers a notification to the account owner that they’ve been mentioned in a tweet. In the second and fourth weeks of the race, only the brand name was used. Social media experts from Engagor, Conversocial, STELLAService helped to develop questions that should receive a response, based on best practices for social media management. The questions fell into five categories: • Urgent, or I need help right this second • Positive (“thank you!”) • Negative • A question from their FAQ page • Technical, or needs more than one interaction to solve
  5. 5. Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi: Don’t Leave Your Customers Waiting One reason why Coca-Cola was so slow is because they took several hours to respond. Brands should take two hours or fewer when responding.
  6. 6. Visa vs. MasterCard: Capitalize on Customer Service for Marketing MasterCard offered a quick, useful response that included a mention of a new product. Visa, however, failed to respond at all.
  7. 7. McDonalds vs. Starbucks: Don’t Give Them the Runaround While Starbucks never responded, McDonald’s didn’t fare much better. It wasn’t clear that it was McDonald’s and the response was less than useful.
  8. 8. Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America: Prioritize High-Intent Messages The banks were among the fastest to respond, but Wells Fargo’s robotic reply wasn’t as thoughtful as the question about switching banks warranted.
  9. 9. Walmart vs. Home Depot: Be Human First and Foremost The Home Depot’s response was quick, useful and personal. They also kept the conversation going past one reply. Walmart provided no response.
  10. 10. Apple vs. HP: Listen for Your Brand, @ or No @ Apple didn’t respond, and HP didn’t respond to every tweet using “HP” without the @. Both brands ignored tweets touting a high-priced purchase question.
  11. 11. Gillette vs. Colgate: Provide Thoughtful Links Providing a link to information that answers the customer’s question saves the representative time explaining the answer and is more likely to be shared.
  12. 12. Read Report Read about our findings in more detail. @SoftwareAdvice /company/software-advice /SoftwareAdvice @SoftwareAdvice Software Advice™ is a trusted resource for software buyers. The company's website, www.softwareadvice.com, provides detailed reviews, comparisons and research to help organizations choose the right software. Meanwhile, the company’s team of software analysts provide free telephone consultations to help each software buyer identify systems that best fit their needs. In the process, Software Advice connects software buyers and sellers, generating high-quality opportunities for software vendors.

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We conducted an experiment on Twitter to gauge the social media customer service techniques of 14 major brands. These are the results.

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