Last updated: March 19, 2013 - 8:27am
More people are using Twitter and Facebook to contact businesses instead of dialing the 1-800 customer service number, but companies are slow to respond on social media, leaving concerns unanswered and even deleting questions, according to a study.
The findings, released by LiveOps, which sells cloud-based customer service technology, and marketing research firm Harris Interactive underscore what many consumers already know -- customer service can be lackluster on social network sites. More than half of companies don't respond to questions posted on Facebook and Twitter, the study said, even though social networks are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to connect with businesses. "You're destroying your brand by not responding," said Natalie Petouhoff, a business consultant and lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, who conducted research for the study. "Companies are going to wonder where they went wrong and went down the drain." The study, paid for by LiveOps, surveyed 1,255 consumers age 18 and older and researched customer service centers at retail, financial and telecommunications companies and other businesses over four months. About 70 percent of complaints on Twitter and Facebook are ignored, according to LiveOps' findings. Most customers wait more than two days for a response on Facebook, when an appropriate waiting period is less than an hour, researchers said. More than one-third of retailers have erased a customer's question from their Facebook page, according to the research.
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