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To Facebook, or not to Facebook?

Monday, June 25, 2012





I read an interesting article talking about brands killing the conversation on social media.

Relevant highlights: 

  • Only 5% of wall questions from consumers of retail brands ever receive a company response. 
  • A new service, Socially Devoted, identifies best and worst retail customer service via Facebook, with Domino's, Starbucks, and Dunkin' Donuts at the bottom and dm Deutschland, Trendyol, and Tesco at the top. 
  • British Airways has disabled comments on their wall.  Really?
  • Many retailers are only communicating sales and promotions, as though Facebook is but another advertising channel 

Average Facebook customer response rates at the bottom are .28%, vs. 76.61% at the top, with an industry benchmark of 30.54%. How many of us would tolerate 0.28% call handling rates in our call centers? Heads would surely roll if that were the norm.  

Disabling comments is like turning off the phones in the call center. Or routing all the salespeople's phones to voicemail.  

One research study indicated that 82% of customers would consider leaving a brand based on a single bad experience.  

Customers are demanding access and transparency. They are demanding to be heard.

My takeaway?  Companies have rushed to get on Facebook and other social media, but don't have the ability to execute on this new interactive channel. Now their lack of considered strategy is severely damaging customer relationships.  It might have been better to wait and create a compelling, actionable strategy than rush in and sacrifice customers on the altar of the new and shiny.

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