Updated: 6 September 2018
When Facebook rolled out the “Very Responsive to Messages” icon that pages with a rapid response rate can proudly display, there was a lot of speculation as to whether having it would affect a customer’s perception of the brand in question. Despite differing opinions, everyone seemed to agree that it is better for a brand to have it than not to have it.
Responding to customers in a timely manner is nothing new when it comes to providing great customer service. Social media has made messaging and sharing faster than ever before between individuals, but it hasn’t yet successfully done so between brands and their customers. Some brands are of course forerunners in this field and better than others, but mostly it isn’t being done quickly enough at least according to most consumers.
Studies show that 18% of American Internet users who have contacted a brand using social media expect a reply within one hour.
Additionally, the average response time for a brand to reply on social media to a user is 10 hours, while the average user will only wait 4 hours, as a recent 2018 study by Sprout Social found.
With customers around the globe in different time zones, many large brands are already struggling to keep up with this type of response time, let alone Facebook’s requirements for getting the “Very Responsive to Messages” icon.
Facebook has given specifications on what activity level is required in order to be "Very Responsive". According to Facebook, to get the badge, your Page must have achieved both of the following over the last 7 days:
This means that the icon can fairly quickly be acquired, but also quickly lost. When your Page has the badge, anyone can see it. When your Page doesn't have the badge, only people who help manage your Page can see responsiveness info on your Page.
Keeping the icon may prove to be quite strenuous to a company that doesn’t have 24/7 customer service on Facebook or that receives high levels of engagement, which consequently increases the processing times of incoming messages.
For most companies it is not a logical solution to grow their customer service team to a size that enables the required response speed 24/7, as the costs for this would be huge, not to mention the management resources required to oversee a customer service team working around the clock and also during weekends, nights and holidays.
It is clear that getting and keeping the active response icon requires some effort. However, there are certain things a brand can do to make it easier.
Find the common trends in your customer inquiries and draft short and definitive answers to these questions. This way you will be able to answer the majority of the questions received within the required timeline, which also enables you to spend more time on the more complex questions, while keeping up with incoming queries.
Answer your customers’ questions by directing them to an appropriate feedback channel; for example email, FAQ or a feedback form.
By outsourcing your Facebook customer engagement or parts of it, you can rest assured knowing that your customers’ questions are answered within a timely manner according to the agreed upon guidelines.
Facebook is investing a lot of effort in making their platform a two-way channel for brands and customers to engage with one another. For brands, this will create challenges at first, but when managed in a proper way it can create greater customer satisfaction. This feature is just one of many in Facebook’s efforts to make their platform better in terms of brand and customer communication.