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Survey finds some retailers lack customer service

Many companies view Facebook as a marketing channel rather than a customer service channel, according to a recent survey from social media interaction improvement company Conversocial.

Researchers found that large retailers such as Costco, Kmart and Kroger all failed to respond to questions posed by users on their respective Facebook pages during the time period of the survey. Similarly, Walmart didn't answer 41 percent of inquires, Macy's skipped 35 percent, Bloomingdales 20 percent, Sears 11 percent and Safeway 5 percent. In general, it was found the U.S. companies have a slower response than time those in the U.K.

On the positive end, Sears had the most responses in under 30 minutes at 57 percent, while Safeway was the best in "dealing with the full complaint on the wall," adding that a large number of conversations about customer satisfaction and loyalty were handled over its social media pages.

"Seasoned shoppers know there will be problems," said Joan Treistman, president of market research company The Treistman Group, as quoted by Retail Touch Points. "It's how the problem is solved that stays with the customer and makes the final impression."

A similar study conducted recently by Conversocial found that more than 50 percent of respondents stated they use social media to communicate with businesses, although 27 percent would curtail purchasing from a company altogether if it continuously ignored Facebook comments or Twitter messages.