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Do you answer the social telephone?

2 min read


This poll analysis was written by Jeremy Victor, president of Make Good Media and editor-in-chief of For more of his writing, visit and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week we asked: How long does it usually take you to respond to a customer complaint made via a social channel? The results:

  • Less than 1 hour: 33.87%
  • 1 to 2 hours: 29.03%
  • 2 to 4 hours: 12.9%
  • 4 to 6 hours: 7.26%
  • 6 to 12 hours: 4.03%
  • 12 to 24 hours: 6.45%
  • 1 to 2 days: 3.23%
  • More than 2 days: 3.23%

Social customer service is alive and well, based on the results from this week’s poll, with 83% of respondents saying they answer customer complaints via social channels in less than six hours. At first these poll results surprised me —  83% under six hours was much higher than I expected. Though upon some reflection (realizing it is 2012), and how quickly negative customer feedback can spread across the Web (think United Breaks Guitars), these results actually sound appropriate and right in line with becoming a social business.

You see, it’s really not about the channel a complaint comes in on; it is about the type of company that you are. If you are a customer-first organization (think Zappos), you are going to respond quickly to customer complaints, no matter what channel it comes in on: e-mail, phone or social. And if you are not, you won’t. It’s that simple.

The emergence of social networks sparked a tectonic shift in human behavior and how individuals communicate with friends, acquaintances  and businesses. We’ve long been talking about social media and its impact on business, we are simply at the point now that as a company you either get it or you don’t. Based on this poll, it seems like most do.