Customers asked brands more questions via social media than ever before, and brands responded in kind, answering 76% of all questions on Facebook in Q2.
We’ve released our latest data on the state of social customer care and found which brands are Socially Devoted – meaning they answer at least 65% of the questions customers ask them on Facebook and Twitter. As more people turn to social media for customer support, being Socially Devoted is becoming increasingly important.
Despite facing a 3.2% increase in customer demand this quarter, brands responded to a record high 76% of all questions they were asked on Facebook this quarter. That’s an 8% increase from Q1, which had been the previous record high. They also responded faster than ever – although at an average of less than 27 hours per post it still was slower than customers expect .
Question Response Rate (QRR) has risen steadily since 2011, when brands responded to only 5% of all posts.
Some things have been the same for a long time, though – namely, that service-oriented industries like Telecom and Airlines have led the way and provided a great example of what excellent social customer care looks like. Brands such as Airtel Kenya are making social customer care a priority, and seeing their whole organization benefit from that focus.
In Q2 2015, Telecom brands made up just less than 2% of our sample, but they received 30% of all questions (and accounted for 37% of all responses!).
Customers now expect their Telecom services to rapidly respond to all questions, but other industries need to step up their games. For engagement, it’s a particularly important consideration: while Socially Devoted Telecoms got more than twice as many interactions as non-Socially Devoted Telecoms in Q2 2015, Socially Devoted brands in some industries saw nearly six times more engagement than their counterparts.
Socially Devoted brands in every industry got more engagement than other brands in their industry. In 22 of 23 industries, Socially Devoted brands got at least twice as much engagement as other brands.
Socially Devoted brands were nearly 4× more engaging than non-Socially Devoted brands.
Despite all the excellent progress many brands are making at running social customer care on Facebook, we can’t say the same about their performance on Twitter. The average QRR for brands on Twitter in Q2 2015 was just 28%, declining from last quarter’s 29.67% QRR.
The results are even worse than they look if you account for the rise in demand that naturally happened as Twitter’s MAU numbers grew and the platform’s users demanded more and better social customer care. In terms of Questions Responded minus Ignored (QR-I), which describes brand performance relative to demand, brands ignored 10% more questions relative to those they answered. Even high-performing industries like Telecom didn’t make the cut.
Only five industries answered even 30% of all questions asked to brands in Q2 2015.
Twitter users asked brands more than seven million questions in Q2, but received fewer than two million responses. They asked the 25 most in-demand brands alone over one million questions – but only six of those brands were Socially Devoted.
There are brands that buck this trend, though. Telecoms like Airtel Kenya (98% QRR) and banks like Halo BCA (88% QRR) not only responded to a high volume and percentage of questions, they also did it faster than nearly anyone else. Halo BCA followers needed only 3 minutes before they heard back from the bank, and Airtel Kenya followers hear back from the telecom provider in 5 minutes, on average.
So even though Twitter presents a challenge that brands haven’t completely solved yet, the precedent is there for getting it right – there’s no reason brands can’t see a similar improvement in Twitter customer care standards as happened on Facebook. With the right tools and a dedicated drive to focus on social customer care, it could happen sooner than you think.
Understand your audience, create more effective content to engage and grow your customer base, and measure social media’s impact on your business goals.