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In very practical terms, the survey (by Oracle) tells us:

  1. 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints posted at the newsfeed
  2. 30% of Twitter users expect a response within 30 minutes, 22% expect a response within two hours and 29% expect a same-day response
  3. 29% of consumers on Facebook expect a response within two hours when they post a question at a company’s page and 22% expect a same-day response

Our experience as public relations and corporate affairs practitioners, is while customers expect same-day, they are delighted with a response asap, which sometimes is immediate, sometimes within an hour or so, sometimes a day, depending on the sector and the urgency. Our behaviour is to respond immediately, and we have staff scanning monitors looking in part for that opportunity. So, with Facebook, the race is to respond while the person is still on the page (“Thanks for you comment, call me on 04……, Regards Peter” or “Thanks for you comment, can we get back to you shortly?”). The results are often electric (“Thanks so much”; ” I am overwhelmed at the generosity…”;), even acting as our clients’ ambassadors (“If you have an issue, please just contact them…”).

Four additional  findings of the survey include:

  1. The more frequently consumers go online, the more they want live help.
  2. Consumers’ first choice is in-person support followed by calling into a number, but they have a strong preference for connecting with customer service rather than other options like email response or online self-service.
  3. Social media has been added to the list of consumer expectations for access to live support. Consumers expect more than marketing and promotions at social media sites; they want direct access to product experts and service representatives.
  4. Survey results suggest that the more consumers are online, the more comfortable they are communicating with companies there.

What does this mean for B2C companies? And to a lesser extent B2B companies? Social media is forcing all of us to increase our investment on communications. Sorry CEOs, but that’s our new reality.

For more information on the survey click here

Author Peter Wilkinson

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