Aussie brands failing to embrace digital real-time customer service

New report looks at how Australian brands are responding to Facebook as a customer experience care tool, and highlights the growing importance of social channels to consumers

The majority of Australian brands are failing to recognise and respond to social media as an interactive customer service and support channel despite its rising importance with consumers.

That’s the belief of lead strategist at digital consultancy group Online Circle Digital, Lucio Ribeiro, who made the comments following the release of its inaugural Social Customer Care Report produced in association with sister technology company, Social Pulse.

The new research sets out to provide a benchmark of how leading Australian brands and industry sectors are interacting with customers through Facebook, and lists of the number of posts received, as well as the response rate and average response time recorded across these brands and sectors during September.

Sectors covered include telecommunications, retail, FMCG, education, airlines and travel, news services, banks and government, while brands include Qantas, Commonwealth Bank, Vodafone and Purina Australia.

Ribeiro said the report was prompted by the fact that social media is increasingly become the channel choice of consumers for customer service thanks to their growing digital intelligence and real-time interaction expectations.

According to the company’s data and research, more than 20 per cent of Australians have used Facebook or other social channels to complain about an organisation or brand, and 10 per cent have used it to look for assistance when resolving an issue.

As an example, Ribeiro claimed one large retail client in Australia was receiving one consumer complaint on social media every five minutes, making it impossible for five dedicated social media staff to respond adequately. To cope, Ribeiro said the company invested in an automated technology solution and prioritisation process to take into account the consumer’s social influence, rate sentiment, and integrate data with the CRM in order to better understand the individual.

In addition, a survey of 200 consumers found more than 20 per cent posting questions on Facebook expect a response from the brand within an hour, and that 40 per cent would not accept a response after more than one day.

Despite this, there are still plenty of Australian organisations that haven’t realised its importance or potential, Ribeiro claimed.

“Many brands still don’t believe they need to respond to people on Facebook and try to discourage consumers from using it as a customer service channel,” he said. “The thing is, this is happening whether the marketers like it or not. And the ratio will get high enough to make or break a company or brand.”

One Australian brands doing a good job of social customer service is Telstra, which has invested heavily in its 24/7 social customer command centre. During the reporting period, the telco giant received more than 300,000 posts to its 24x7 page and recorded a 97 per cent response rate, with an average response time of 1 minute.

How to command conversation: 3 social media command centres
15 social media mistakes big brands make and how to avoid them
Social marketing goes mainstream but management remains elusive
EasyJet staff threaten to deny boarding to passenger complaining on Twitter

Overall the telecommunications sector is heavily investing in its social customer service capabilities, Ribeiro said. Retailers are also ramping up across a wide range of activities. On the flip side, response rates were much lower across sectors such as restaurants and news media, although Ribeiro added the overall caveat that not every post always requires a response.

“The upside to this is that most consumers who do get a response from brands through social media have very positive reactions to those brands on Facebook,” he said. “About one-third of our sample of consumers who received responses returned to leave positive messages and became higher and more positive brand advocates.

“If you solve the problem and give back, there’s a much higher chance you’ll build loyalty with those consumers. Today, customer care needs to be convenient for the consumer, not just the brand.”

For those marketers looking to embrace social media as a customer care channel, Ribeiro outlined several key steps. The first is to understand who is in charge of customer service. Is it the marketing or promotions team, and do you have a clear conception of how these people work?

“Do an internal audit to gauge who is in charge,” he advised. “Secondly, what technology is available to you to deal with this? Raise the question with your in-house customer service experts.”

Most importantly, make sure your social media data is integrated with your CRM, Ribeiro said. “Don’t reinvent the wheel – bring in your data, use it intelligently and connect the dots, because this social customer service trend is happening.”

The report was based on automated and manual analysis of data provided by Social Pulse, a tool which tracks real-time Facebook activity and provides rules to manage comments and prioritise responses.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Investment decisions are a big deal, so why not get some guidance? You can day-trade cryptos, BUY and HOLD and evaluate the assets with f...

Dave Sigurd

Gartner: Digital isn't enough of a superpower for CMOs anymore

Read more

I normally don’t feel comfortable investing online but because the company I worked for downsized due to the pandemic and I was one of th...

Dave Sigurd

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 9 June 2022

Read more

Investment decisions are a big deal, so why not get some guidance? You can day-trade cryptos, BUY and HOLD and evaluate the assets with f...

Dave Sigurd

Creating a marketplace for wellness

Read more

A solution for an retail industry data extraction. https://e-scraper.com/usefu...

"e-Scraper" Data Extracting

​Catchoftheday launches fee-based online shopping club

Read more

As an ex employee of 4 years during the growth of the company, I can say that the new management has benefitted the company tremendously,...

Harry

How JobAdder's CMO is bringing the human truth to B2B rebranding

Read more

Blog Posts

2 hidden ingredients for leadership success CMOs need to know

Your success as a senior marketing professional has much in common with your success as a leader. Both marketing, and leadership activities, depend on building trust, encouraging action, and reliably fulfilling promises that have been made.

Gerard Penna

Leadership advisor, coach

How shifting economic trends are impacting digital media

Between further interest rate rises, inflation​, empty shelves, extortionate lettuce prices, supply chain issues and the barely believable events in Eastern Europe, the past six months there’s been a cacophony of environmental factors.

Kieran Reed

Senior digital manager, Alpha Digital

5 ways to turn imposter syndrome into confidence and conviction

Imposter syndrome. That feeling others will discover you are actually not as good as they expect, and at any point you will be exposed and ridiculed as a fraud. If you can relate to this, then you are not alone.

Rowena Millward

Author, consultant

Sign in