How to Provide Effective Social Customer Care on Facebook

Brands continue to make progress toward answering all customer questions on Facebook. The biggest problem, though, is how long they’re taking to do it.

How to Provide Effective Social Customer Care on Facebook

One thousand nine hundred ninety-four. That’s how many minutes it takes for brands to get back to their fans on Facebook®, according to our data.

Want to see 2014 Q4 Socially Devoted Results on Facebook?

Responding to questions in 1,994 minutes (33 hours!)? That’s as outdated as your old desktop. What’s worse is that so few brands even get back to their fans at all – right now, our data suggests more than 95% of brands don’t carry on a thorough dialogue with their fans.

Progress and Setbacks

Yes, things aren’t so rosy in the world of customer care on Facebook. While brands improved by nearly 5% in terms of Question Response Rate (QRR), they slowed down drastically, to the tune of 29% longer wait times, in reaching a less-than-impressive Question Response Time (QRT) of 1,994 minutes.

In order to thrive on social, brands absolutely need to continue raising their QRR and dropping their QRT, even while handling more. Our research shows brands that are Socially Devoted get 3.5 times more Interactions than non-Socially Devoted brands – that’s more than 90,000 more interactions per Page. Succeeding can’t just happen at low volume – that’s why, even more than QRR, we prioritize Questions Responded minus Ignored (QR-I) as a key Socially Devoted metric.

Top Brands by QR-I

Here, KLM wins by the length of an overseas flight, with over 20,000(!) QR-I. That’s an incredible volume of questions. Combined with their rapid Twitter care and as-open-as-possible ethos, it’s definitely an example for Brands to follow. There is an interesting trend developing just below KLM on the QR-I ladder. The other top Brands are all located in South Asia – an important center for Telecom, which happens to be the most Socially Devoted Industry, by a long shot.

Telecoms have by far the highest share of Socially Devoted brands, at 32%.

There are more combined mobile subscribers in Bangladesh and Pakistan than in all but two other countries in the world – China and India. That means that successful companies in South Asia have to learn from their top industry’s best practices, and incorporate customer care into their social strategies. But even in mobile hotbeds like Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, there is major work to be done to improve customer care on social.

Socially Devoted Around the World

Brands in Pakistan, the Netherlands, and Germany were the most responsive countries on Facebook in Q3.

But they were all slower – much slower – than the world’s fastest draw, Poland. Poland’s wickedly fast QRT relative to the rest of the world is influenced by their prominent telecom brands. In fact, 5 of their top 10 fastest responding brands – all telecoms – respond to questions posted on their Timelines in an average of under 80 minutes. With Europe’s highest number of mobile subscribers per capita, Poland is a prime example of great customer service on social going hand-in-hand with growing ROI.

Brands in Brazil, the U.S.A., and Hong Kong could all stand to learn from Poland’s top performers. They are the least responsive countries in the world, and take 27.5% longer on average to do so than the most responsive countries.

Customer Care Adoption on Social Lags

Given the positive effect of Social Devotion on brand Interactions, one would think brands would be scrambling to dedicate themselves to perfecting the art of customer care on social, and dedicating increased human and fiscal resources to it.

Only 3 industries have more than 10% of their brands reaching SD status, an unacceptable figure.

Being Socially Devoted massively improves Interactions.

Obviously, that’s not the case. Only 18% of the largest Pages were Socially Devoted, and fewer than 2% of all brand Pages with between 1 and 99,999 fans were. Here are several reasons why those smaller Pages might be having such a tough time with providing top-quality customer care on social to fans who expect it, as well as some things those Pages can do to start better their customer care operations:

  • Brands with small Pages generally have smaller teams and fewer resources. Social marketers at these brands would benefit from using a reporting solution like Socialbakers Analytics’ Reports that showcases the value and potential of social, and helps win over skeptical executives with numbers that show real business value and actionable tips for taking the next step.
  • Fewer employees. Often, the necessary human resources just don’t exist at smaller firms. That’s why an enterprise publishing tool like Socialbakers Builder is so important for organizing teams and making customer care on social a more efficient exercise.
  • Old media habits die hard. Some companies still don’t see customer care on social as anything beyond extra frosting. These brands will have to see its value soon – or risk being overtaken by forward-thinking brands that do.
  • Closed Timelines make it hard to properly gauge Social Customer Care. Our data suggests that over 3 billion social connections (that is, times fans are connected to a Page) are left out in the cold because of closed Timelines. So even though some Pages with closed Timelines offer excellent customer service, they don’t let fans see it, leaving the impression that the Page is hiding poor service or complaints from fans. Seventeen percent of the smallest brand Pages and 23% of the largest have closed Timelines, meaning there are probably quite a few Socially Devoted brands in hiding, with fans waiting for them to open their Timelines and show the world their excellent customer care.

*Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

Social Media Analyst

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