Indians demand social customer service
New research has found that more than three times as many Indians use social media for customer service compared to the UK and US. In the study, by analysts Ovum, nearly four in ten Indian consumers had embraced social media to raise customer service queries – in contrast, only 12 per cent of UK and US consumers have done so. Indian consumers both used it positively (to promote good service/products) and negatively, with 44 per cent using it to complain.
There are two key lessons here for global companies. Firstly you need to offer customers the right channels for customer service and recognise that this is going to vary between different countries and types of user. Don’t force your customers down channels that they don’t want to use. Secondly, the research found that despite their appetite for social media, the majority of Indians still consider a telephone conversation the best way of solving customer service issues. So, don’t put all your eggs in one basket – make sure you provide a full range of channels for customers, from email management to Web Self-service.
A great example of how to integrate social media and customer service is Eptica customer AirAsia. It has deployed Eptica self-service as a centralised online hub to provide fast, consistent customer service across multiple channels. Available from www.airasia.com for all English language queries the self-service system integrates with AirAsia’s Facebook pages, extending consumer choice when it comes to customer service channels. No wonder that the Eptica system answers 20,000 questions every day for AirAsia customers across the globe.
As this research and AirAsia’s experience shows, it is time for global companies to integrate social media into their customer service armoury if they want to stay relevant and in touch with consumers.