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As I mentioned in my coverage of the C3 conference, social media and customer service seem to be made for each other. But the speed of interaction seems to be both a blessing and a curse. Case in point, during the conference I tweeted the following about how Best Buy and GiffGaff were considered to be models of how brands interact with customers via Twitter:

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Within seconds a rep from Best Buy tweeted this response:

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Which was quickly followed up by this response from GiffGaff:

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Now I wasn’t asking them to do anything and they likely just responded because a social media monitoring tool had detected my mention of them, but still the speed of response was impressive and I even got into a short conversation with the GiffGaff guy. Contrast that with my experience today. A client asked me to look at the company’s stats on Yahoo Analytics (a first) and I was having trouble generating a simple report because, well, I couldn’t figure it out. I searched its support site and couldn’t find any help so I did what any other social media geek would do — I tweeted the following:

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And what has been the response? Crickets …

Perhaps my expectations are unreasonable but @YWebAnalytics does not have that many followers and from the looks of its Twitter page, it does not get a ton of people asking questions via Twitter. It is certainly under no obligation to drop everything and answer my question, but my expectations of how fast it should get to me have been dramatically altered by these other companies.

So instead of asking yourself how efficient are your company’s responses to social media mentions, perhaps you might want to ask yourself how fast are your competitors’?

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