Newsletter signup:

The business of social media marketing, storytelling and gamification

Social Business

Integrating social business thinking and technologies throughout the enterprise.

Social Analytics

The business of social media listening, understanding and reputation


Social media meets social responsibility.

Social Commerce

Where social media relationships translate into transactions

Home » Engagement, industry research, News, Social Media News

Consumers seeking support via email wait 13 hours longer than those on Facebook

Submitted by on December 20, 2012 – 8:28 amOne Comment

How seriously do brands take social customer care? We’ve seen examples of best practice (and poor effort) on Twitter from brands in the States, now Brand Embassy is putting the spotlight on UK companies.

Its report, ‘Social (s)caring brands’, pits Facebook and email against one another in the service stakes and reveals that customers relying on email correspondence can expect to wait 13 hours longer for a response than customers approaching brands via Facebook.

The study found that the fastest responding industry on Facebook is home and garden, with an average 2:28:30 response time. By contrast, the fastest responding industry via email is the electronics sector, delivering customer service in a comparatively whopping 16:38:00.

The slow stakes throw up some interesting results. The IT sector (IT) took the longest to reply on Facebook, with a time of 39:09:30, whereas email saw FMCG (‘fast’ moving consumer goods) and telecommunications dragging their heels with times of 56:45:30 and 114:35:00 respectively. The irony of an industry specialising in communication taking nearly five whole days to respond to customer queries is quite apparent.

At the top of the charts, though, are three of the country’s biggest supermarket chains. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco all deliver Facebook-centric service within lightning-fast timeframes (14, 17 and 24 minutes respectively), and also score points when it comes to the relevance of responses.

No data on those failing the relevancy test, but you need only search “sorry to hear that” on Twitter to find scores of brands delivering the same copy/paste response to customer after customer.

After so many examples of brands struggling with social service this year, it’s refreshing to see good efforts being applauded. Companies should examine these supermarkets’ strategies in a bid to emulate their success.


One Comment »

  • I find this almost dismissal of email by so many organizations baffling [we have all seen other research where emails go unanswered]. Are incoming emails harder to monitor than social media sites? [no]. I fear the answer is that email is no longer ‘sexy’.

    And yet an email is a far more personal form of communication [ie one-to-one] and can be used far more effectively to develop a relationship with customers. Ho hum.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.