There is no question that consumers reach out on social media to connect with brands for customer support.
If you have ever sent a message to a brand via Facebook messaging or on Twitter, how quickly do you expect it to be responded to? If brands and organisations have a social media presence do you expect them to acknowledge your question even if they direct you to another platform?
And do you expect them to reply even at a weekend – especially if they are in the business of hospitality or retail?
I know that I personally find it frustrating if I post a message to brands or people working for organisations and they fail to reply – it’s even more annoying when they identify themselves as authorities and experts in marketing and digial communications!
Whether or not you have considered using social media for customer support and have established service level agreements and processes for customer support, the reality is that increasingly, prospects and customers will expect you to respond to their questions.
Below you will find an infographic from Sentiment Metrics with some suggestions for managing social customer service and research data that may help you build a case for ensuring you have a plan for social customer support in your organisation.
US Data – Social Customer Support Research
SAP, Social Media Today and Pivot created an infographic which was published in the fall of 2012, The Social Customer Service Conflict, and reported that:
– 71 percent of businesses claim to use social media for customer service
– and 87.5% have realized a positive impact.
– 47% of all social media users have used social care, with usage as high as 59% among 18-24 year olds
– 71% of those who experience positive social care (i.e., a quick and effective brand response) are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers that do not receive any response
– Nearly 1 in 3 social media users prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone.
The NM Incite study surveyed a representative group of 2,000 U.S. social media users over the age of 18 using Nielsen’s online panel and the research was conducted in July 2012.
The Social Habit research conducted in 2012 explored the question of how quickly consumers who had ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support exected a response and found that:
– 32 percent expect a response within 30 minutes
– 42 percent expect a response within 60 minutes
– 57 percent expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours.
The Social Habit research included 690 respondents from a representative sample of over 3,000 American social media users.
Conversocial have recently published their research about how cutomer support provided using Twitter by the top 100 US retailers. They found that:
– 6 percent of companies respond to customer questions within 30 minutes
– 20 percent of companies responded within 2 hours.
UK Data – Social Customer Support Research
Research from New Voice Media identified that:
– nearly a third of their survey respondents (31 percent) post online following inadequate customer service
– seven percent of respondents even consider posting on Facebook to be the most effective way to resolve a problem
– half of UK consumers are taking their business elsewhere as a result of inadequate service
– 19 percent of respondents would post an online review
– 14 percent will complain via social media if they are not happy with the service they are receiving
– 56 percent of those surveyed would never use that company again if they have a negative experience
– 27 percent would tell friends and peers
– 19 percent stated they ‘would take their revenge online’ by posting a review
– 74 percent of respondents would be more loyal following a positive customer service experience, 71 percent would recommend a company to others and 34 percent are prepared to spend more money with the company
– and social media is only one of the ways that customers want to engage with 66 percent of respondents commenting they prefer to speak to someone on the phone to get an issue resolved quickly and 23% would address an issue using email.
Irish Data – Social Customer Support Research
Research from Accenture Ireland published in April 2013 identified that:
– 24 percent of Irish consumers post their negative experiences online (the third highest of mature markets surveyed by Accenture)
– 23 percent say they are influenced by online reviews
– Irish consumers are the most likely of all consumers in mature markets to embrace and expect a ‘multi-channel’ experience: after word-of-mouth, the main channels used are a company website (73 percent), online information (67 percent) and in-store information (66 percent)
– 73 percent of customers agree technology has positively impacted their marketing and sales experience
– 63 percent of respondents reported that technology has improved their service experience in the past five years.
The Accenture 2012 Global Pulse survey included online responses from more than 12,000 people in 32 countries, including 314 in Ireland.
Social Customer Support Infographics
Power to the People Social Customer Service Infographic
If you want to learn more about how to develop your social business plan and integrate social customer service, you can contact me to discuss your next steps.