THIS is how you do Social Customer Service

A friend of mine had a very valid complaint about FB’s website auto-playing music, so she did what many irritated customers would do these days: she posted her complaint on the FB iFrame Facebook Page.

What happens next you can see for yourself:

Customer Service on Facebook

FBiframes responded to her initial complaint within 7 minutes, and then apparently fixed the problem within 20.  When I looked through the complaints posted by others, it appears that it is their regular practice to respond within a couple of hours (often much more quickly) to any post on their wall.

I’ve had many discussions with marketing friends of mine about what is a decent response time when someone complains online, and we often have differing opinions.  I’ve been told on more than one occasion that the expectations of social marketers is unrealistic; companies at times cannot immediately respond.   I disagree with that thought process.  It may be that your company cannot fix the problem within a matter of hours, but if you are going to play in the social arena, you need to be listening when your customers complain and at the very least, respond within hours if not minutes.

Is that an unrealistic expectation?  I don’t think that’s a marketer’s call to make.  Social connectivity has changed what your customers expect, and responding in lightening speed to at least let them know they were heard certainly may stop them from looking for another, more responsive, competitor.

  • It’s down to scale and industry. The example here is a company that’s entrenched in social, so they should be smart with it. Take the same example to a plumber who’s dabbling; does he/she stop working on a basement leak to answer a query on their Facebook page? 😉

    OK, so that’s kinda a glib example, but it does highlight the issue of expectations being raised when we don’t know the ins and outs of a company, just what we see in public.

    • AmyMccTobin

      I would not expect a plumber to answer within minutes, but within 24 hours, YES.  I would most likely advise any small business NOT to dabble in Social…. that’s like getting a voice mail system and NOT checking your voicemail daily.

      This of course is a spectacular response time, but I would say the same day is essential. Otherwise, don’t open the channel for communication.  I’m not saying RESOLVE the problem the same day – sometimes that’s not possible, but you must reply in a timely manner if you’re allowing people to find you here.