Is your business running in real time? #custserv

In his research, David Meerman Scott discovered companies that engage in Real Time are more successful than those that don't.

Bestselling author David Meerman Scott explores the power of real-time business in his latest book, Real-Time Marketing & PR, released by Wiley today (Nov. 1, 2010). As part of his research, Scott reached out to the top 100 Fortune 500 companies (of whichonly 28 responded) to determine how they had adapted to the new realities of the real-time Web.

What he learned was that there is a positive ROI for investing in real-time marketing and PR, and that real-time companies are more successful than their Fortune 100 peers:

“A comparison of 2010 stock prices reveals that on average the publicly traded Fortune 100 companies that engage in real-time communications beat the S&P 500 stock index while the others, on average, underperformed the index.”

But what does Real Time really mean and how fast do you really need to reply to tweets or Facebook posts to be seen as responsive and alert?
Well according to Scott 

"Real time" means news breaks over minutes, not days, and that ideas percolate and then suddenly and unpredictably go viral to a global audience

This question reminds me of "How long can you sit at a round about waiting for a gap before the guy behinds you honks"
Is real time the difference between the first tweet and the "I've not heard from you yet" tweet?

When it comes to email response times I always learnt that a super quick response could result in a never ending conversation. Where as a slight delay of 30 min to 1 hour can give the impression that you are busy and you weren't just sitting their waiting for something to do. However I'm not sure that rule applies to social media.

Real Time rules! Twitter is a conversation platform, it's about what's happening right now; and especially if you have competitors that might comment too; reaching out to the customer as fast as you can is imperative. With mobile applications, email alerts and workflow support like the Zendesk Twitter integration there really is very little excuse now for any company to miss the boat.