PACIS 2021 Proceedings

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Companies are increasingly engaging with customers and providing customer services through social media on a real-time basis. Like traditional channels, customer service teams may have to prioritize customers because of limited resources in terms of labor, time, etc. However, the grounds for differential customer services via social media are still unclear, since social media, as public many-to-one channels, are fundamentally different from those traditional channels. To study this increasingly common phenomenon, this study investigates how major companies across three service industries selectively respond to customer comments on social media, analyzing a large dataset comprising all Twitter exchanges between the companies and consumers during a three-month time span. Surprisingly, our results reveal that the popularity of the complaining customer is not the decisive factor in them receiving a managerial response. Furthermore, we find that companies are more likely to respond to inquiries relevant to their core business. This paper extends previous research on social media customer services and offers insights for both companies and consumers.



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