Internet is one of the most used sources nowadays. Around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today. The number of internet users has increased in huge amounts of numbers from 1999 to 2013. Furthermore social media is a fast growing community service as well. According to Brandwatch (2016) there are 2.3 billion active social media users and 91% of the retail brands are using 2 or more social media channels. Now, 38% of organizations plan to spend more than 20% of their total advertising budgets on social media channels in 2015. But how do these brands maintain their social media? How active are they on their social media accounts? Now, the most important question is: why is it so important to have a fast response rate on social media? (Smith, 2016)
Fast responsiveness on social media is a very important part of Customer Engagement Management and Customer Intimacy. According to Treacy and Wiersema, customer intimacy strategy is characterised by the fact that companies build up a relationship with customers. It is not about the company but the individual wishes and desires of the customer. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)
With more and more consumers turning to social media as a source for customer service, and positive customer service experiences on social media proving to increase sales and brand recommendations, it has never been more important that your business be readily available to meet the needs of its customers online. But how is does it work?
If a tour operator, for example TUI is on a social media channel; they will most likely receive hundreds of questions and complaints from customers. This can vary from daily to every hour or even every minute. It really depends on how well known and big your organization is. The important thing is: customers love to know that you appreciate it that they chose you instead of a competitor. Regardless of industry, the customers are already using social media channels like Twitter or Facebook to talk about you, and being present to take part in the conversation is necessary. As a matter of fact, providing customer service through a tour operator’s social media page(s) is not all that different than providing it by any other means. (Marban, 2014) (Beese, 2013)
So the question is: will the company be there for their customers and reply to all their messages or will their Tweets and Facebook posts remain unseen?
According to Sprout Social (2013) consumers are turning to social media to interact with the people behind the brands and products they love. If there is a failure in communication, the customer-supplier relationship can make it feel one-sided and will eventually lead to the loss of a customer. (Beese, 2013)
In other words: if a company, in this case a tour operator, does not reply to the questions and complaints of the customer the number of sales will decrease because then the customer gets the feeling they are not important enough. This will mean they go to another company, a competitor, where they will feel important.
Beese, J. (2013, March 21). Social Media Response TIme. Retrieved from Sprout Social: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-response-time/
Internet Live stats. (2016). Information about Internet Users. Retrieved from internet live stats: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/
Marban, A. (2014, February 13). The Importance of Responding to Customers Quickly on Social Media. Retrieved from Ad Espresso: https://adespresso.com/academy/blog/importance-responding-quickly-customers-social-media/
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. In E. Peelen, & R. Beltman, Customer Relationship Management. Pearson Education Limited.
Richards, R. (2016). How many people use social media? Retrieved from sysomos blog`: https://blog.sysomos.com/2016/04/21/how-many-people-use-social-media/
Smith, K. (2016). 96 Amazing Social Media Statistics 2016. Retrieved from Brandwatch: https://www.brandwatch.com/2016/03/96-amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts-for-2016/