Many Big Retailers Don’t Respond to Customer Questions on Facebook

From Time Magazine:

If you’re hoping to get better customer service by posting questions to a retailer’s Facebook page, be prepared for disappointment, according to a survey released today. Major retailers including J. Crew, Victoria’s Secret and Radio Shack not only didn’t respond to questions within two days, they actually deleted them, the customer service evaluation company STELLAService found.

The findings are something of a jolt to the idea that consumers can turn to social media to get more effective customer service. While there are still plenty of examples of consumers using both Twitter and Facebook to their advantage, this survey shows just how inconsistent the results can be, and that some are far more committed to properly playing the social networking game than others.

Only five of 20 retailers both responded within 48 hours and left customer queries on their Facebook pages: B&H Photo, Gap, Bed Bath & Beyond, JackThreads.com, and Williams-Sonoma.

Others that deleted questions from their customers, according to STELLAService: Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Gilt.com, and Rue La La. Some, however, actually answered questions before erasing them.

Two days was plenty of time to wait for an answer, according to the company that conducted the survey.
“While retailers have enthusiastically embraced Facebook as a way to engage with consumers, many have yet to fully appreciate social media’s two-way nature when it comes to providing customer service,” STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser said. “Retailers need to realize that two days in Facebook time is like two years in real-time. Consumers are used to real-time engagement with friends on Facebook, so it’s unnatural to spend days waiting for any kind of response.”

Continue reading the story at Time Magazine