Facebook's Growing Customer Base But Declining Customer Support - A Reality Check!
Over 10 years after its emergence, Facebook has become ubiquitous, a staggering financial success and a transmitter of a lot of malicious trash. At 1.86 billion active Facebook users (and snowballing as I write), the social media giant has more monthly active users than WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram combined. Over five new profiles are created every second on Facebook, a company worth $400 billion, and while it continues to reign in popularity with 42 per cent marketers reporting that the social media site is ‘critical’ to their business, I’d like to ask, is it really worth all the effort? I mean, look at the marketplace, it’s one hell of a crowded place and to dedicate so much time in an effort to stand out and then literally become invisible, that’s going to hurt.
Alright, so, why am I writing all this? Rewind to…you’ve put in a lot of effort (lot of effort in bold) to make sure your work is noticed on Facebook, but you confront a glitch. Like any other business, you write to Facebook’s support team. This is where it all fires up…the endless wait commence. The support team never gets back to you in the face of your urgent requirement. Your efforts have gone down the drain, your work has lost its sheen and you’re just another business trying really hard to make your mark all over again! This is precisely why I’m writing this article.
Facebook has been a boon for shareholders since its IPO in May last year. The company’s stock is now trading over 200% higher than its 2012 Wall Street debut. But it falls back in one essential section…customer support. Facebook’s customer support is already bad and it’s now only getting from bad to worse. I was reading somewhere how bad customer service costs businesses $338 billion in revenue every year, globally. Evidently, this either doesn’t worry Facebook or the company hasn’t been added to the above mentioned list.
Clubbed with Mark Zuckerberg’s blinding desire to rake in the moolah (which he’s winning hands down), the processes they use to interact with customers is not something you can blame a software for right? Their people-to-people association is negligible…let me spell that for you n.e.g.l.i.g.i.b.l.e! “Alright stop nagging and call customer support”, said my inner self! Except wait…Facebook has no way to reach a human being. Despite having provided customer service numbers across the web, it’s exceptionally hard to reach them. And when you do, (now that will be an achievement…add it to the resume!) you’ll have to answer a million questions and may be (may be) if you’re lucky enough your query may be resolved. For a company this big, it’s really surprising how there is no live customer support at all. It can take 24-36 hours or even more to extract a response from the support team.
India is the largest Facebook user base in the world with the number of Facebook users expected to reach a whopping 254.9 million by 2018, up from 195.2 million in 2016. Read the numbers again! That’s really how much people are crazy about the leading social network. However, Facebook’s inability to grow customer service at the same prodigal rate is enormously disappointing. What’s really funny is that even their FAQs do not have support help. The automated emailing system that’s sent after filling out a support form only refers users back to the help center or to pages that are obsolete and cannot be gained access to! How convenient! This leaves businesses and users at a dead end with no further support.
Mark Zuckerberg may be a cool dude, too bad his organization hasn’t a freakin’ clue as to how to treat grownup customers who spend tens, hundreds, thousands…and millions. Coupled with the inability to speak to a live person besides exceptionally slow response times to emails and queries, the Facebook’s customer support is definitely broken and they are going to have to figure out how to fix it.
Dr Somdutta Singh is the the Former Vice-Chairperson of the NASSCOM Product Council, only woman to have ever held this post. She is also part of the Core Committee of WEP (Women Entrepreneurship Platform) by NITI Aayog and a serial Indian entrepreneur, mentor and angel investor.
Somdutta has mentored various initiatives that include Google Launchpad, Microsoft and Target Accelerator, IIDT, Govt of Andhra Pradesh and is now a Mentor of Change at Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). She is also currently on the advisory board of Karnataka Biz-tech ITBT Ministry, Co-trustee and Director at Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CEE) & Digital Leadership Institute, Founder of IRA - a crowd sourced fashion label; Co- Founder - Amplicell - a heath supplements company & Founder, CEO at Unspun Group, one of India's 1st technology-based marketing solutions companies.
She is also on the advisory board for BloombergQuint and has been a keynote speaker at several prestigious symposiums. She is a political analyst and has regularly appeared on debates across TV channels.