By Marcus Leach

In today's business environment customer service is more important than ever before, especially given that through social media any discontent can be aired publicly to a far reaching audience at any time of day or night.

It is no surprise then that many of the nation's leading companies go to great lengths to ensure they have a strong Twitter presence. Not only does this enable them to gain valuable feedback, but it also allows for conversations with customers, and the ability to deal with complaints a lot quicker.

However, it would appear not all companies maintain their social media presence seven days of the week. Given that many companies operate seven days a week, it is imperative that they maintain their social media not just in the week, but at the weekends as well.

Customer service is, quite simply, essential. Research just released shows that organisations that invest in customer service excellence are likely to receive additional purchases from 53% of customers. Given this it is interesting to see that not all companies engage with all of their customers.

The following blog highlights the downfall of not maintaing a 'seven day a week' Twitter presence, and comes on the back of an original article by Nick James.

An interesting article came out of the Like Minds conference last week. Nick James, after attending the conference travelled home using a First Great Western Service. Unhappy with the service, he tweeted to the rail operator and was frustrated with the lack of response.

We took a quick look at the FGW Twitter account to see if they were listening to their customers.

The answer was yes, but only some of the time.

The account is actively manned replying more than tweeting, which shows a high level of reactive engagement with their followers. The content of their tweets also showed a high degree of support and engagement with their followers, the word sorry being prevalent in their replies.

However, there is a chance James was tweeting to an unmanned account. First Great Western, like many brands keep firmly to a 9-5 weekday twitter pattern, meaning any tweets sent after these hours are either missed or not picked up until Monday. Sadly most consumers use Twitter as an instant method of communication, the lack of immediate response only heightens their frustration with the company which then leads to more permanent complaints against the brand.

The issue of whether brands should tweet at weekends is borne out by one customer’s frustration, shared across the web. A manned Twitter account could have saved some blushes and delivered a more engaged customer.

Brands are using BirdSong for Twitter to identify gaps in their strategy. By comparing their own Twitter profile with their wider marketing presence, or that of their competitors, they can improve social media marketing through data and insight over opinion. Click here to sign up and try if for yourself.

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