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How Are Top Brands Doing With Twitter Customer Service? [REPORT]

Earlier this year, social media analytics specialists Simply Measured conducted an analysis of how Interbrand’s Top 100 Brands were performing customer service on Twitter.

In a time when offering strong social customer service is directly tied to protecting brand identity, what steps are major brands taking to engage with their followers effectively on Twitter?

Over the course of Q1 2013, Simply Measured tracked the customer service performance of 30 top brands with dedicated customer service accounts.

The use of these separate accounts for handling inquiries and complaints is an increasingly prevalent trend, which makes total sense – with a dedicated support portal, brands can direct negative or mundane matters away from the main branding channel and not have to compromise the brand voice.

99% of brands are on Twitter, and 30% have a dedicated customer service handle (as of March 2013):

How many customer tweets actually get responses?

Only 10% of brands with customer service handles get to more than 70% of their mentions. Bear in mind that some tweets directed at the account might not merit a response – although, ideally, every time a customer reaches out to a brand, they’d receive acknowledgement. We might just not be there yet. The average response rate was 42%.

How about how long it takes for a customer’s tweet to be answered?

The average response time was 5.1 hours. The fastest was 42 minutes. Does that surprise you? Obviously, the volume of tweets a major brand like the ones in this study is receiving makes it pretty much impossible to respond instantaneously to each one.

But maybe that’s an indication that a full-time social customer service team is a better investment than ever. Especially because, as the Simply Measured study points out, 42% of social media users expect to receive a customer support response within the hour.

Here are the top 10 brands by mentions, in terms of customer service:

Microsoft, American Express and UPS were the fastest to respond – but also didn’t have nearly as many mentions as BlackBerry or Nike’s customer service accounts.

But Nike is far and away the leader when it comes to response tweets sent, tweeting nearly 3x the volume of the next closest brand, for a 73% response rate.

Read the full report for yourself here.

Have you had any particularly positive, or negative, experiences with customer service on Twitter? For me, I tweeted to @WarbyParker and got a response back from @WarbyParkerHelp in under 30 minutes. But I tweeted to @colehaan and never heard back.

Share yours in the comments!

(Image via Shutterstock)

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