New York Times best-selling internet entrepreneur, Jay Baer calls social customer service a “spectator sport.”

That’s because, on social media, your customers are always watching. In some cases, they’re literally sitting back and waiting for fireworks. If a customer complains, will you respond? If so, will you get upset? Will a poorly worded tweet balloon into a PR crisis? Brands who aren’t there to stick up for themselves often find that the effects can be disastrous.

Why not responding is the worst response

Social media is really the new convergence point for consumers. According to Statista, 81 percent of Americans use social media. They spend somewhere between 30 minutes 2.4 hours there each day, and the number of platforms they use have jumped from 3 to 7 over the past few years. This is the place people go for news, reviews, and over 70 percent of consumers have used it for customer service.

Not responding to customers carries a high price. Whether it’s because brands lack the technology or the strategy, is irrelevant—the effect is the same. Most of those customers leave. According to research by Conversocial, a non-response means:

  • 52% of customers will switch providers
  • 78% of customers will bail on a current transaction or not make an intended purchase
  • $1.6 billion in lost revenue worldwide due to unresolved complaints

In a majority of these cases, a…