Customer Service Report: Phone support still top, Twitter comes before Facebook

In an interesting report by Zendesk across the globe, it becomes obvious that telephone is still the preferred way to the customer service of companies. The report shows insights based on actual customer service and support interactions from over 16,000 companies across 125 countries.

According to the Zendesk report, customer all over the world were most satisfied with customer support they received on the telephone. The insights done in Q3 2013 show that 91% of customers liked the way they got help on the phone. In the second place of the satisfaction ranking came Chat (85%), followed by Help Centers/Web Forums (83%). On the social networks side Twitter (81%) came in before Facebook (74%).

zendesk satisfaction cs channel 2013

Not surprisingly, the report also made clear that during normal business hours the support got the slowest first reply times (FRT) plus the lowest satisfaction scores. In the time period between 5-6pm local time -often when the service teams change or leave business for the day- companies have got the longest FRTs.

Interesting to see that Brasil and Canada received the highest customer satisfaction scores although there was no real indications on what the reasons could be. United Kingdom finished in position 6, US in 11 and Germany only in 14. From an industry perspective, the IT services and consultancy business, government and education achieved the highest customer satisfaction rankings.

zendesk industry cs 2013

Spot On!
Companies would be clever to combine these findings with their customer churn and growth rates to see the impact of customer servcie on the development of their customer base. Although many companies do custoemr servcie via Twitter and Facebook, which is steadily growing and improving since 2012 according to the report, we have experienced that social media in customer service if often just used to calm people down and get them engaged in a phone call to solve their issues. A trend that has shown the best customer service satisfaction results.

British Airways: LookUp Billboards With Flight Detection

The latest British Airways #LookUp billboards at Piccadilly Circus are claiming to be interactive and tell those passing by which BA flight plane number it is that is flying over our heads. The advertising creative gets triggered when a plane flying over the ClearChannel digital outdoor sites through the Heathrow flight path. It then tells people passing by real-time data of the plane’s destination and flight number. The funny thing: It also provides a weather feed that reads the cloud height to make sure people see the plane before the advert gets shown to them. Just imagine what you could also do with that idea in terms of promotions: Provide weather information on the take off destination, add some nice hotel advert or a restaurant recommendation with it, and so on. Cool campaign, right?

History of Hashtags (Infographic)

Whether you use hashtags “#” or not, they have made their history since first introduced in 2007 by Twitter. They became the filter, not only for Twitter – also for special topics, for branding, for trends, and for what not.

Although many people ignored hashtags from the beginning on the social platform, they find more and more acceptance today, now that people know why they are in the world of social web communication. Their real increase in use cam with the year 2009, when the 140 character network decided automatically linking anything preceded by the pound sign.

Nowadays, if you want to get retweets, you better use hashtags as these tweets are 55% more likely to be shared than those without any #. Even Google+, Facebook, Instagram or Vine have started to accept the hashtag value. And Offerpop now introduced an interesting infographic which shows the history of the hashtag.

PS: Interesting to see that more people use hashtags on their mobiles than on their laptops or desktops. Mobile information is consumed in short time periods, so you better make sure people grab your information when they jump on the bus, the train or at a break at an event. Hashtags are the access keys!

History-of-Hashtags-Infographic

The evolution of the mobile etiquette (Infographic)

Human interaction gets disrupted by new technologies like smartphones and tablets. Yet, we are still trying to figure out and learning how to engage with our mobile devices when other people are around. Time to rethink (mobile) etiquette. When is it ok to check our mails on our phones? At dinner with friends or during a conversation in a restaurant? There is no golden rule these days, and many people might define their own etiquette.

A recent infographic gives some mobile advice with some new etiquette ideas. The infographic by Deals.ebay.com is based on some studies which show some insights in mobile users opinions. The younger generation age 18-24 have obviously a quite relaxed understanding on how and when to use mobiles: 50% of GenY think texting is allowed during meals – compared to just 15% of people aged 30 and older.

PS: One term was even new to me: Phubbing -a short version of phone-snubbing. But, check it out yourself – and if you got some advice, start the conversation.

Via deals.ebay.com

Via deals.ebay.com

Success: How picturess get more engagement on Instagram

The Philadelphia-based viaul analytics and marketing company, Curalate, states it created algorithms to figure out how more than 30 picture features, like color, lightness or saturation, might effect your Instagram success. To generate these insights, the specialists analyzed over 8 million images from the mobile photo-sharing network. I am assuming this also counts for Instagram’s competitors like Pinterest (if not then Curalate needs to provide some proof please).

Some key findings…
– Photos with a high volume of blues and other cool colors seem to generate more likes than photos with warm red and orange.
– Dominant single colors in images are also more successful. Pictures with clear single hue generate 40% likes than others.
– Less color wins. Don’t flood your pictures with too many flashy and vibrant colors. Less saturated images generate 18% more likes than wild and vibrant ones.

instagram-success-engagement-infographic

Ratings, Retweets, Repins & Likes: Automated response creators = killers of insight creation?

twitterview-2Some years ago, I have written about the Retweet button being the “killer of positive blog comments”. Over the years in many seminars and speeches, I have stressed the point that the ROI of the social web is not about generating high quantity in “thumbs up” on Facebook or Retweets on Twitter, or anything automated that comes along with similar meaning.

Retweets, Repins & Co. are only of value for your business, if…
– you accept those automated response generators as the pillars of your ROI system.
– you are a marketer who builds their business on proving the capability of accelerating reach rather than relevance.
– you are a brand that struggles to understood the value of building a community-centric business.
Still: Are ratings as insightful as a written comment – be it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other community platform out there in the social web?

Yesterday, it became public through a post on TechCrunch that Facebook is testing out a system of openly displaying star-ratings on Pages. Will this be another killer of value creation?

I definitely agree that the Facebook “Like” has become confusing, and in some way worthless. Many users just click on the Like button out of a pure and immediate emotion, nothing sustainable, lasting or resilient. Some are expressing their solidarity with it. Some are missing the dislike button, and click the Like button.

Do those automated responses tell us what they really feel? Do they tell us what people really think? Do they help us to evaluate our position? Fair enough, these automated response creators are some word-of-mouth catalysts. Well, I admit by adding these five star ratings, there is at least some specification in the differentiation of generating feedback.

Obviously, the new rating system puts Facebook in a different position and moves it more to the likes of Foursquare, Yelp and traditional trend shop systems. Furthermore, it allows users to be more concrete in defining their opinions. Users might get better orientation in why a coffee shop or a business or restaurant deserves to be tested.

Spotted by TechCrunch

Spotted by TechCrunch

But does it really help us? What is a 4.2 with twelve votes compared to a 4.9 what two people have build up? Do we know who gave the votings, and if these people have the same interest and preferences that we have got? Doesn’t orientation get even more confusing? What will we book on travel websites when there are less and less reviews and recommendations?

Spot On!
The 3 Rs of the social customer (ratings, reviews and recommendations) might make our lives interesting and exciting for new stuff. But maybe there is too much new trends and products out there to get our heads around. Maybe a real review or recommendation will sometimes help (one positive and one negative like Amazon does it already). Still, automated feedbacks -be it stars, RTs, Likes, etc.- are the least valuable insight creation generators on a relevance scale that helps defining internal and external social web ROI.

PS: If your managers are still happy when your numbers of Likes go up, be happy and tell them nothing about this post. If not, let’s discuss further how social networks should constitute in order to deliver deeper insights in the mindset of our customers.