Report Thinks Customers Should Look After Themselves More. Do you?

customer service, twitter, social media, retailers, transversal, Sharon King-Livesey, customer engagement,

A new piece of research from Transversal has showed that one in five customer questions asked on Twitter are ‘unnecessary’.

The self-service knowledgebase vendor Transversal deems a question ‘unnecessary’ when the answer was easily found in a websites Frequently Asked Questions section.

Unsurprising really when they’re probably, frequently asked questions.

The study looked at 1,616 questions posted at a sample of 50 top brands’ Twitter accounts over the course of the week. In which 18.4 per cent were deemed ‘unnecessary’.

Some of the answerable questions levied at brands were:

  • @adidasUK what time does your Oxford St store close on Sunday?
  • @AmazonUK I’ve pre-ordered a day one edition of the #xboxone, is it possible to change delivery address for it without effecting my order?
  • @eBay_UK I’ve experienced the worst customer service. How can I get in touch with complaints department?
  • @HSBC_UK_Help I have lost my card and secure key, what do I need to do?

Obviously, Transversal take this as a sign that customers need to be more self-aware and do some of the legwork themselves.

“As the importance of customer service continues to grow, today’s consumers are in the fortunate position of having more ways to get in touch with brands than ever before,” said Sharon King-Livesey, Head of Global Marketing at Transversal.

“As brands invest more and more in their multichannel strategies, consumers should recognize that sometimes it is quicker to do the work themselves and self-serve. Take Twitter, a great tool for interacting with your favourite brands but it might not always be as instant a communication method as you think.”

However, I completely disagree with this sentiment. Especially as it overlooks the key point about customer service.

Now there’s more ways to reach out to brands and engage with them, it’s a brand’s job to respond and come to the customer – especially now there’s more distractions out there to take customer concern away.

The point of having a Twitter channel is to deal with lines of questioning, it’s not just for marketing or forming a relationship at all.

It doesn’t matter that the information is already on the FAQ page of your site, a lot of the time customers won’t be looking there for an answer. Instead they’ll find out by going via the channel they feel most comfortable using. In this case it’s Twitter, but it could just as easily be Facebook or via email or a phone call.

Transversal say that these questions are both a waste of customer and a brands time. However, is it ever a waste of a brand or company time when they’re forming bonds with a customer and helping them out?

And I’ll be damned if those asking on Twitter aren’t also spending their time doing something else while awaiting a reply. Very few of those involved would be sitting there patiently expecting a response within seconds.

Also, the study has no way of knowing how many of those who sent messages on Twitter then went on to find the answer themselves on the store’s website. After all, Twitter could be a first port-of-call, where questions are asked in a spur-of-the-moment thought. Too flippant for a customer to feel the need to go back and delete or explain you’ve solve the issue themselves

If a customer wants to use social media for their ways to find out about a brand – and an increasing amount will do – then that’s the channel you should be focusing your assistive energies on. No matter how trivial, tiresome and trite their queries may be.

But maybe that’s just me.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

 

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About the Author

About the Author: A man of many words who's interested in the busy world of payment technologies and customer loyalty. You'll find me writing on Total Payments and Total Customer. .

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  1. Thomas Knoll says:

    I actually think businesses should have an ongoing task on their roadmap to make their FAQ, Knowledge Base, Self-support sections obsolete.

    If a customer (a person) has a question, we–first of all–have an opportunity to interact with that person by answering their question, and then we have the opportunity to find a way to improve our product or processes.

    The opportunity at a conversation is an opportunity to make a personal connection with our customers.

    And, the opportunity to understand how to make our product or service more helpful/useful/intuitive is priceless.

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