More than 4 in 10 social media users currently engage with brands on social media by asking questions before making a purchase, according to a report [download page] from Emplifi. Results from the study suggest that it’s important that brands provide strong customer service on their digital channels.
Based on the survey of more than 1,000 social media users ages 16-55, the research reveals that a slight majority (52%) of respondents expect a brand to respond to a message posted on one of its digital channels within an hour. That figure is comprised of 10% who expect a response within 5 minutes, 22% within 30 minutes, and 20% within an hour.
Fewer than 1 in 10 (9% of) respondents expect a response that takes longer than 24 hours.
About twice that share say that’s typically how long it takes, though: almost 1 in 5 (19% of) respondents said that brands typically take longer than 24 hours to respond to a message.
On a more positive note, though, almost half (46%) of respondents said that brands typically respond to a message within an hour, such that to a large extent, it seems as though brands are meeting expectations.
The Importance of Customer Service
Respondents to the survey were presented with a list of 5 customer experience examples and asked to rank them in terms of which are most likely to make them feel positive about a brand. The top two responses – almost equally – were customer service available 24/7 (ranked #1 by 29% share) and respond to messages quickly (ranked #1 by 28% share). These appear to be far more important to respondents than brands sharing their values, providing additional recommendations, or asking for feedback.
The importance of customer service has been highlighted in other research, too. In a survey to determine what makes a brand “best-in-class” on social media, Sprout Social found that offering strong customer service was the top response.
There is room for improvement, at least as it relates to making purchases via social, according to the Emplifi research. Only 38% rated the quality of social media customer service received from brands when making a purchase a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, while 22% rated it lower quality (1-6).
About the Data: The results are based on a November 2021 survey of 1,064 US social media users ages 16-55 who are familiar with the concept of customer experience.