‘New Year, New Me’. The most joked about and most popular new year’s resolution is that of hitting the gym. People are going to try (and hopefully succeed) to get into shape. However, before they even start exercising, getting the right gear is the priority. What’s the point of going to the gym if you don’t look good in gym selfies for Instagram?
This makes people go online and shop for their favourite sports brand. Unfortunately, orders do get messed up and hitting the gym is put off for another time. When this happens, which brand’s social customer care is going to get you back in the gym, without any hassles?
Using Trooya’s Benchmarking tool along with a manual analysis, we can answer those question. Under Armour, Nike and Adidas are the 3 brands that we analysed. We judged them on the following parameters:
1) Responses to issues with delivery and availability: This is based on whether the brand responded to customers concerned about delivery and availability of products, and the manner in which they communicated or resolved the concern online
2) Responses to issues with product quality and refund: This is based on whether the brand responded to customers concerned about product quality and refunds. How the brand communicated and resolved the concern online were also taken into consideration.
3) Average response time: What was the average time in which a brand issued a response to a customer
4) Average response rate: How many customer interactions did a brand respond to, from the total interactions it received for a specific duration of time
Delivery and availability
Food fight gone wrong? Looks like an older style, but here is the closest thing we currently have available! https://t.co/L5oE01lXWn
— Ask Under Armour (@AskTeamUA) December 27, 2017
Under Armour responded to 86% of issues related to delivery and availability. The brand is creative with their replies, as seen in the example above. If it’s an issue about product availability, they try and resolve it publicly. In situations where personal details are needed, such as a delivery issue, they take the conversation to a private forum.
Hi Craig, didn’t mean to keep you waiting. The amount of orders placed during Christmas and sales period took us off our feet. However, all is going back to normal. If you’re still having issues with the order, then drop us a DM, and we’ll do our best to help.
— adidas Help (@adidasEUhelp) December 31, 2017
Adidas responded to 38% of issues related to delivery and availability. Adidas apologises for any inconvenience caused to the customer. They prefer resolving grievances away from the public view. The conversation moves to direct messages.
Please note, as Adidas US doesn’t have a dedicated support handle, their EU based customer care handle was considered for this article.
The Folsom Nike store may have your size in stock. Give them a call at 916.985.7313 to inquire further.
— Nike.com (@nikestore) January 3, 2018
Nike responded to 74% of issues related to delivery and availability. Nike resolved issues related to availability in reply threads. In the above example, the customer care representative provides the customer with specific information as to where to obtain a particular product. Their approach to delivery related issues is to take the conversation offline. They request the customer to send specific details via Twitter direct messages.
Product Quality and Refund
Ouch, DM us with where you purchased the Fleece. We’ll have our Team take a look. https://t.co/UlK77C1Vu9
— Ask Under Armour (@AskTeamUA) December 27, 2017
Under Armour responded to 88% of issues related to product quality and refund. Their tone is casual and conversational. They empathise with the customer before redirecting them to private messages. In this regard, their responses are personalized. However, their replies aren’t usually signed off by their customer representative, which is a practice being adopted by an increasing number of brands.
Hello Christine! Could you please send us a DM with your order number, full name and email address? We’ll be more than happy to assist you further.
— adidas Help (@adidasEUhelp) December 29, 2017
Adidas responded to 32% of issues related to product quality and refund. Adidas mentions the customer directly in their primary response. The replies maintain a degree professionalism while being conversational. They resolve all their issues over private conversations rather than the same thread.
Sorry to see that. When and where were they purchased? Once we have that info we can explore your options further. Keep us posted.
— Nike.com (@nikestore) January 2, 2018
Nike responded to 76% of issues related to product quality and refund. Nike has a professional tone when replying to customers. They empathize with the customer and issue an apology. They also seem to verify whether the issue can be resolved through their social customer care. This is evident in the example shared, wherein they request for information prior to committing the resolution they can offer to the customer.
Average Response Time
Using Trooya’s Benchmarking tool, we analysed the average response time of the 3 brands. An ideal response time is said to be around 30 mins. Under Armour has an average response time of 13 mins. Nike and Adidas have an average response time of 184 mins and 201 mins respectively. The Adidas handle is specifically for Europe and has timings specified in their description. Issues brought up after their work hours could have an effect on their response time.
Average Response Rate
Using Trooya’s Benchmarking tool, we analysed the average response rate of the 3 brands. The numbers reflect the percentage of customer conversations that the brand has replied. Under Armour has a response rate of 40%. Nike and Adidas have response rates of 23% and 3% respectively. Please note that the Nike handle isn’t a dedicated support handle, owing which it is bound to receive promotional, campaign and non-customer centric chatter. This can certainly impact its response rate. Additionally, as shared earlier, in absence of an Adidas US support handle, their support handle for EU has been considered for this article.
|Responses to issues with delivery and availability||5/5||2/5||4/5|
|Under Armour responded to 86% of issues with delivery and availability||Adidas responded to 38% of issues with delivery and availability||Nike responded to 74% of issues with delivery and availability|
|Responses to issues with product quality and refunds||5/5||2/5||4/5|
|Under Armour responded to 88% of issues with product quality and refunds||Adidas responded to 32% of issues with product quality and refunds||Nike responded to 76% of issues with product quality and refunds|
|Average Response Time||5/5||2/5||2/5|
|Under Armour has an average response time of 13 mins||Adidas has an average response time of 201 mins||Nike has an average response time of 184 mins|
|Average Response Rate||3/5||1/5||2/5|
|Under Armour has an average response rate of 40%.||Adidas has an average response rate of 3%||Nike has an average response rate of 23%|
|Weighted Average Score||4.8||1.9||3.0|
A few learnings that we gathered from these brands were:
1) Think before committing
Nike displayed this characteristic while attempting to resolve a customer’s concern. They asked for more details and clearly stated that they’ll be able to commit a resolution only after they have that information with them. Such a practice helps set the right expectations with customers and avoid a situation where a customer was over-promised but under-delivered.
2) Knowing who is best suited to help a customer
The retail industry is prone to receiving product availability related queries on social media. While such queries can be managed online, a true resolution i.e. a yes / no answer to a customer’s request is difficult. However, this is something that a brick and mortar store representative could easily answer. Hence, redirecting a customer to a specific retail outlet by sharing their contact details is a reasonable solution, if not ideal. This approach at least delivers a specific answer to the customer instead of a placeholder response.
3) It’s alright for brands to share their issues with customers
Christmas is a time when the retail industry goes into full throttle mode. Sales are high and products fly off shelves, both virtual and real ones. However, this kind of a surge in demand can cause a strain on a brand’s ability to fulfil each customer’s demands. This occurred with Adidas when an irate customer critiqued the brand on not delivering his order placed 9 days before Christmas. The brand not only apologized and empathized with the customer’s situation, but also explained how a surge in demand caused their order delivering capability to weaken. This kind of a conversation not only promotes transparency but also shows the humane part of a brand wherein they owe up to their errors with a reason.
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