The secret is out in living color on the cover of Consumer Reports – how to use social media as the last chance way to get some attention when unhappy with a product or service. This issue shares secrets to great customer service, and social media use is one of them. Consumer Reports states that 84% of consumers who posted complaints to social media used Facebook. The report goes on to suggest that social media can be a highly effective way to resolve customer complaints, even when other approaches fail.
JCPenney is one retailer that was cited as having great customer service via Twitter.
When a customer reached out by phone and learned of the hold times, she quickly went to the company’s Twitter page. She said that their phone wait times were “nuts” and within minutes a representative quickly tweeted a reply. After a bit of back and forth, the issue was resolved.
As the chart indicates, the under 25 demographic shows an indication that they will be the ones who will expect this type of service moving forward, so making sure those wait times are on target will be well worth the effort.
Ann Michaels & Associates, a leader in Customer Experience and Social Media Management, conducted a study on this very topic
How long is too long when it comes to receiving an answer to a product or service question in social media?As the Consumer Reports article shows a consumer expectation, Ann Michaels & Associates set out to look at the disparity between what consumers expect as far as wait time for brands to respond to consumer concerns vs what is actually happening.on social. The study was initiated when it was evident social would serve as a customer service channel – take a look at consumer expectations vs brand response and learn how response time on social shifted over a three year period. Click here to find out the results
media can be your greatest asset and your biggest downfall. Do it right and you
can gain new followers, create loyal customers, and successfully grow your
brand. But a few missteps and you can turn away potential customers.
you get your approach wrong, it can quickly destroy your social reputation.
Once your brand’s reputation is damaged, it is very difficult to rectify. And
with so much online competition just a click away, it’s extremely easy for
consumers to find another brand to fill their needs if you turn them off with
the way you use social media, by your tone, or how you post.
let’s start with why people follow certain brands on social media:
They are interested in a product or service
They are offered incentives
They are interested in promotions
They find the social media profile entertaining
They wish to communicate with a brand
Their friends or family follow the brand
why people unfollow brands on social media:
Too many promotions
Too much tweeting/posting
Inappropriate use of jargon or slang that doesn’t comply with brand identity
Failure to reply to comments /messages
So what social behaviors
are most annoying to consumers? Here’s what to avoid:
1. Poor grammar and
spelling and grammar are the top most annoying things to social media users as
a whole, according to market research. (A close second is the abundance of
memes or political cartoons that have no place on a business social media
account). It is way too easy to use spell check or hire a professional editor
to check your posts before publishing them to make sure everything is correct. Your
business page needs to reflect your brand identity, which should always reflect
professionalism and attention to detail.
2. Begging for likes
you are too focused on getting likes for your page you will lose credibility
with followers. Social media should be used to engage with your target audience
– not to boost your own ego with how many likes you have. Instead of blatantly
asking for likes, shares, and comments, provide content that encourages your audiences
to engage and gets them excited about being included in the conversation.
3. Improper hashtag use
people really love the hashtag – the more they can squeeze into a single post
the better. But when it comes to any business profile on social media, you need
to use hashtags wisely and appropriately. Use a limited number per post – two
or three at most – and make them count. Only use hashtags that are appropriate
to your business, industry, or individual post.
4. Ignoring criticism
matter how great your company is, at some point in time you will receive
negative feedback. It may not be deserved, but you should never ignore it. Always
respond calmly, concisely, and offer to take the issue to a private forum such
as a phone call, email, or direct message. Be polite and non-reactive – you
need to be proactive, even in the face of negativity that is completely
address criticism quickly. The longer you wait to address complaints, the
angrier the customer becomes. 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to
reviews. Read reactions thoroughly, respond quickly, and defuse the situation
before it becomes a major deal.
5. Posting too often
a fine line between maintain an active presence on social media and completely overwhelming
many posts can be aggravating to the point that customers “unfollow” you or
simply result in your posts becoming lost in your followers’ newsfeeds. Be
aware that not every single follower will see every post. You should post to
Facebook once per day – twice at most – during times when you have analyzed
that your posts get the most response. This is critical!
6. Having a bad website
Every interaction a consumer has with
your business counts…whether that is on social media, in a brick and mortar
store, or on your website.
the 64% of you who have a website, remember
that this may be the first impression someone has of your business? If they
have a poor user experience, chances are they will not follow you on social media
or become a loyal customer. The site should look professional and clean,
include a menu so users can easily find the information they are looking for,
and have links to your social media accounts.
social media consumers are looking for deeper connections with the brands they
choose. They take time out of their day to read your posts, watch your videos,
and like and share your content. When done properly, social media marketing can
create loyal brand ambassadors that will increase the growth and success of
work mindfully to make sure you avoid the above mentioned social media
and organization affect how a retail store performs? You better believe it. 2018
was a rough year for several retailers…proving that fact.
Toys R Us closed
for good in
the United States and was forced to liquidate because it was unable to
sustain its debt load after a leveraged buyout in 2005. According to a
filing with the bankruptcy court, Toys R Us had still been making $400 million
payments on its debt every year.
stores, in particular, have been struggling because of declining foot
traffic to malls, which has affected Sears, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, and
Macy’s. They all have closed stores in the past year, and Sears filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after years
of declining sales.
The rise of e-commerce has played a huge
role in the downfall of some retailers who can’t keep up with Amazon, eBay,
Wayfair, etc. Although stores have been working on improving their marketing
strategies, it hasn’t always been enough. Even on Black Friday, traditionally
one of the biggest shopping days of the year, stores were relatively
Maybe it’s because department stores are
focusing on the big picture and not the details. During secret shopper visits
to various stores, it was alarming what was discovered. Empty shelves, dirty
carpet, displays so crowded you couldn’t sort through the inventory, and empty
cash registers with no employees in sight.
Buiocchi, the CEO of facilities management platform ServiceChannel, sees it over
and over. Retailers cut back on store maintenance and improvements and end up
on the fast track to bankruptcy, while those who invest in store improvements
and upkeep are succeeding and expanding.
A study commissioned by ServiceChannel surveyed 1,521 consumers and 70% said they recently had a negative experience with a messy store, ranging from dirty bathrooms and broken toilets, to disorganized shelves and burned-out light bulbs. Over two-thirds said they have walked out of stores because they were messy or disorganized. Four out of five shoppers said they would rather have a clean store than ones with the newest tech, and two-thirds said retailers are forgetting the basics—like clean floors and well-stocked shelves—in the rush to add tech. “The vast majority of purchases are still being done by people walking into a location. And their experience of that location has never been more important,” Buiocchi said in an interview.
so many other shopping options, retailers must be on top of their game. Consumers
want to be rewarded when they make the effort to walk into a store and a dirty,
disorganized store says the retailer doesn’t care—about the store or the
shopper. Store maintenance used to be considered “a non-sexy part of the
business,” Buiocchi said, “but now it directly affects the high expectation for
an in-store experience. And facilities managers all have a role at the table
of the new online brands that are opening stores are quick to recognize the
value of rigorous maintenance and are signing up as customers. “There are the
people that get it, and there are the people that don’t get it,” Buiocchi said.
“Good progressive retail is investing in their brick-and-mortar experiences and
enjoying the benefits of that,” he said. “Bad retail is not and they’re
unfortunately being penalized for that.”
JCPenney has been struggling the past few years, new CEO Jill Soltau, is up for
the task of bringing the stores back to life. Soltau,
who took over the position in October, said in a recent earnings call that the
department-store chain is failing to adequately deliver on some fundamentals of
On Tuesday, JCPenney reported
first-quarter earnings for 2019; same-store sales during the quarter dropped by
5.5%, following a 6% drop in the previous quarter. “I am pleased with the
strides we’ve made in setting key objectives, building our senior leadership
team, executing significant changes in our assortment, such as eliminating
major appliances, and mobilizing the entire organization around our
priorities,” Soltau said in a press release on Tuesday. She continued:
“JCPenney is an American retail icon that is very important to all of our
stakeholders, and I am encouraged by the early signs I am seeing in our
business as we work to realize the potential that lies ahead.”JCPenney, and other struggling retailers, are definitely
capable of delivering on the fundamentals of great retail. The fate of the
company now depends on its ability to execute this shopping experience across
its entire fleet.
The problem is consistency. Visits
to numerous JCPenney stores across the Southeast proved just that. Stores in Richmond,
Virginia featured empty shelves, messy displays, and abandoned cash registers.
The stores, which both anchored enclosed shopping malls, felt outdated and far
too large. However, a third JCPenney store in a strip mall, revealed flawless
design, layout, and presentation. This store obviously cared about
presentation, reputation, and customer experience.