Companies' Social Media Experience Still Lagging

There’s a huge disconnect happening between companies and their social media-following consumers, and it’s costing the companies revenue. 

According to the inaugural issue of the Social@Scale Journal, one out of every five brands says they rarely -- if ever -- respond to customer complaints made via social media, although consumers are expecting responses within an hour. The result of this disconnect: 38% of customers said they’ll have negative feelings about a brand that fails to meet their response expectations, and 60% will take “unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction,” primarily through social media.

“The longer you wait, the more likely the empowered consumer is going to take that out to the social [world],” Jeremy Epstein, vice president of marketing, at Sprinklr, which provides “social relationship infrastructure” to companies (and published the journal), tells Marketing Daily

The disconnect is causing companies real-world losses. According to the report, 11% of brands have lost revenue because of poor social media response, while 15% have lost customers and 26% have seen their reputations tarnished. 

Companies need to adapt their legacy systems to account for the entire customer experience, regardless of channel or media, and understand that a customer doesn't care how he or she is interacting with a brand, Epstein says.

“This is not a fad, and it’s not just another channel. This is a disruption to businesses,” Epstein says. “Change is difficult, and we often don’t see the implications of new technologies until it’s too late. Many companies have been organized around efficiency, and now you need to be organized around experience.”

To reorganize around the customer experience, companies will need to first conduct an audit of their social media structure and then determine who will be responsible for the customer, rather than simply the channel where they engage, Epstein says. Such change will require some departments to loosen their grip on their corners of the customer experience, he says. 

“There’s organizational insertion and people protecting their silos. There’s a need for bold leadership,” Epstein says. “[There] needs to be an organization-wide experience that is the same for the customer at every touchpoint.”

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