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Retailers, Is Your Customer Service Aligned With Social Media?


social media, retail, holiday, shoppertrak, in-store analytics, black friday, people countingAs the holiday shopping season approaches, consumer expectations and their accompanying emotions will be running high. Armed with their mobile devices, they will be prepared to do holiday battle as they uncover everything they need to know – reviews, ratings, prices, even product availability – all with the touch of a button.

Customer service interactions using social media will not be exempt. One study found that one in four of those who used social media for customer service inquiries said they rarely or never received an answer or had a complaint resolved. If retailers are unprepared to successfully handle this during the holiday frenzy, they will find themselves not only at a disadvantage, but vulnerable.

This is especially relevant when these problems can drive customers away. Although it varies across industries, research has found there is an average of a 25% drop in loyalty among customers who experience a problem. Imagine losing one in every four customers who have faced a problem with your business. What makes it particularly difficult is that, even though half of your customers may experience some sort of problem, only 5% will actually complain. That means you may never know about the negative experiences of the other 95%. (CTMA)

This is why it’s imperative that businesses concentrate on establishing specific customer service guidelines and procedures for their social media interactions. Nick Burcher, author of Paid, Owned, Earned, explains that a comprehensive social media guide must be created to well equip a company’s representatives to handle any and every possible situation. For instance, who should respond to what? What tone of voice and kind of response should be used? Which topics should and should not be mentioned? What “crisis procedure” should be established to address and handle quickly any potential problem that could occur? (205)

Retailers will find that an immediate and relevant response within their social media interactions can have a significant effect. Results from a 2011 study showed that 68% of consumers who posted a complaint or negative review on a social networking or ratings/review site after a negative holiday shopping experience received a response from the retailer. Of those who received a response, 33% turned around and posted a positive review and 34% deleted their original negative review.

As retailers look for those factors that will help them build a solid customer service strategy, ShopperTrak provides an in-store analytics system that can aid in this process. By employing in-depth business analytics through our people counting technology, we give the tools to help them understand those factors that best drive success in their business.


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