AT&T is the largest telecom provider in the United States with more than 250 M mobile customers. On Social Media, the brand has around 552 K followers on Twitter and 5.7 M fans on Facebook.
On the main website of At&T, besides public social networks, they have dedicated forums for specific products and services. This community driven forums have all the required features to enable customers to ask for help and get it resolved. On the other hand, the brand is also actively responding to customer complaints on Twitter and Facebook.
Lets get into details of how they are responding to customer queries and complaints on social media.
Element 1 – Tone of Messaging
At&T has a very friendly and informal tone on social media while responding to their customer’s complaints and queries. Most queries on Facebook is also followed by the name of the social media manager who made the response. This is a standard industry practise on social media.
Element 2 – Are they sending canned responses, without understanding the context?
There are certain formats of messages which are used by the social media agents to respond to queries, inorder to ask for more detailed information. In addition, most of these canned responses are preceded with personalized communication which makes the entire communication more informal and less of automated response.
Element 3 – Turnaround Time
On Facebook the average response time of At&T is around 3 hours and almost all the issues posted on the wall of their page is being responded. This is certainly not the quickest response time of all, but considering that they are trying to respond to every comments is commendable.
On Twitter the response time is around 49 minutes which is much faster. (The time is calculated based on last 480 responses made on Twitter.)
Element 4 – Is brand sending personalized replies?
Yes, almost all the responses being made contains the address to the customer either inform of ‘@’ or ‘Dear $NAME’ etc.
Element 5 – Is brand following up on the complaints?
On Facebook, in most comments there is no follow up. It could be that the customer agent has resolved the issue offline and there is no need to, because there doesn’t seem to be any engagement from the customer side on the conversations as well. But the cases where the customers are responding back with the original thread of conversation, At&T’s social media agents have responded for more clarification.
On Twitter the trend is random, some conversations are followed up while some are not. The case where there is engagement from the customer side, At&T is engaging with them. But in cases where there is no response from the customer side, the brand is not proactively following them.
Element 6 – Is brand answering to all the queries?
On Facebook, most complaints and queries are responded, but certain complaints are not attended at all. On Twitter, the case is same only around 70% of complaints are responded.
Element 7 – Is the brand present on major complaint forums?
At&T has its own support and help forums which makes it easier for At&T to have all their customer engagement in one place. Beside this the brand doesn’t seem to engage complaints on other forums or discussions. For example, there are many complaints and conversations on complaintsboard.com, but none of them are attended by anyone from the brand.
Element 8 – Is brand sending duplicate replies?
There wasn’t many example of duplicate replies but one such instance was observed where the customer was replied twice at different times. It could be the issue with Facebook or the system which AT&T is using for customer engagement on social media.
Overall considering the size of the business and brand, At&T seems to be investing on responding and engaging with customers online. But the efforts on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter can be improved with faster response time.