Response times

How brands can get quicker on social media response times

by • December 6, 2016 • BlogComments (0)3154

By Anita Matthews, Nov 28, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Customers didn’t tell brands they wanted to use social platforms for service – they just got on with it and demand for support is rapidly increasing.  If a company has a social presence, and you’ll have to dig real deep to find one without one, customers assume that businesses are able to support them there too.  As we head into 2017, the idea that large organisations aren’t able to quickly and effectively get back to social messages is a non-starter.  And, here lies the problem.  Research by thinkJar found that just over half of customer service requests on social are still not acknowledged.  Organisations without adequate social media programmes are losing sight of the very people who are most loyal to their business. And, the reality is some businesses are still sluggish or miss comments completely.

  • 40% of tweets directed at the service accounts of leading B2C companies do not receive a reply
  • 72% of Facebook interactions are never completed, in any channel

The problem is most acute when we look at the experience of customers with a complaint.  The number of complaints on social media that are missed by brands every year stretches to the millions – to the tune of 280 million negative messages.   There are still lots of unheard customer voices out there and not answering a message on a social network or messaging app is just the same as not answering a call or email.  Companies need to be equipped to answer customers in near real-time or they will fail at the first opportunity to engage.

Quality service pivots on how well you organise your support team so they can assess and prioritise comments to make sure each and every message that requires a response receives one.  Here are a few tips to help business with even a moderate flow of messages get better at handling interactions on social channels.

Download the Checklist: How To Improve Your Social Media Response Times (PDF)

Workflow and process

  • Simplify inboxes – intelligent workflow and Automations in your social customer service app will make things easier for agents to quickly work through relevant messages, matched to the skills they have. Noise and spam is filtered out and priority mentions are routed to the right person at the right time to action.  One of the biggest routes to failure is expecting your support team to effectively manage social conversations without intuitive tools to make it easy to manage them.
  • Smarter productivity – agents with the right tools quickly discover how the team can work smarter and they can establish more personal, one-to-one relationships with customers.
  • Multi-channel inbox – you need to push your social channels, including messaging apps, into one agent platform where agents have a single stream view to maintain quick response times and keep up with the relentless pace.
  • Last agent routing – customers get to talk to same person again if they need to pick up a conversation and agents can resolve things more quickly if they have the background story already. Sending people around the houses only to repeat the same story over and over again is a sure fire way to make situations worse.
  • Conversation histories – this ties in with last agent routing. Ensure agents have access in their engagement app to full conversation histories to inform replies.

Agent productivity

Role configuration

  • Configure permissions – it is important to configure your engagement console to benefit the user and only assign roles that are limited to the tasks they are responsible for. App functionality to manage agent permissions will be a big help here.

Visibility and workflow

  • Live messages – ensure agents have real-time visibility of all comments that are currently live on social. Again, having good workflow, Automations and filters and processes in place will help support teams prioritise genuine customer service comments, without being overwhelmed by inboxes filled with noise.  By using Automations, comments which do not need a service response can be routed away from customer service teams – lightening the load.
  • Optimise resources – routing comments to specific agent inboxes allows team managers to plan and optimise resources to deal with daily volumes, and spikes, across social.
  • Performance dashboards – having visibility on inbound comments, team performance metrics, and tag trends shows everyone how they are doing.


Here’s a quick checklist of automated reports that will help you measure and benchmark agent performance:

  • Activity reports
  • Activity report during business hours
  • Channel activity reports
  • Channel activity report during business hours
  • Tag reports
  • Returning client reports
  • Reports on the number of redirects away from social channels
  • Team reply reports to monitor the quality of agent responses
  • Overall team activity / action report
  • Unresolved issues reports

Find out more …

This post includes extracts from our new enterprise guide – How to handle social customer service interactions at scale – download the full guide for more invaluable tips and best practice advice.

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