The Great Social Customer Service Race – 14 Top Brands Tested on Social Support Savvy

Guest post by Ashley Furness. Ashley is a market analyst with Software Advice, a lead generation and research advisory firm that offers software reviews and comparisons.  Today, consumers tend to base their purchase decisions on reviews, social media and referrals from friends. They are interested in marketing, but only if it matches their expectations about the brand. If anyone had a handle on social customer service, I assumed 14 of the nation’s top brands – such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi – would be among them. But recently I completed a research project that tested this theory, and I came up with some surprising results. The five-week project, dubbed “The Great Social Customer Service Race,” assessed the how quickly and often the companies responded on Twitter. Four Software Advice employees used their personal Twitter accounts to send messages to the brands, sometimes with the @ symbol and sometimes without the @. When the @ symbol is used, the account holder is notified that they’ve been mentioned in a tweet. It’s not feasible to expect these brands – some receiving thousands of messages per day – to reply to everything. But we designed questions that should have received some kind of response based on social customer…

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