Customer Service Trend Watch for Building Products

Is the building products industry prepared for the world of “instant gratification?”

Like many of us in the building products industry, I have read several books through the years that tout customer service responsiveness as one of the most important attributes of a solid run business.

We have also all sat through many seminars, lectures, and customer service training sessions to remind us of how important this one area of our business is.

So, when I ran across this SMARTPULSE poll question, it struck me how much this part of our business has changed and continues to change. We are in the world of instant response, 24/7 customer service awareness, and always being prepared with the proper response.

A question that drove this point home:

This SmartPulse — a weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media 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 – 2 hours – 29.03%
  • 2 – 4 hours – 12.90%
  •  4 – 6 hours – 7.26%
  • 6 – 12 hours – 4.03%
  •  12 – 24 hours – 6.45%
  • 1 – 2 days – 3.23%
  • More than 2 days – 3.23%

Social customer service is alive and well, based on the results from the poll, with 83% of respondents saying they answer customer complaints via social channels in less than six hours. That’s fast!

We all know the famous stories of how quickly negative customer feedback can spread across the web, 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.

How many of us in the building materials industry are prepared to interact with our customers in this way? How many of us have a social media monitoring plan in place along with guidelines for response? The world has changed and just keeps spinning faster and faster…


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