Why social media is all about customer service
Most organisations have taken this on board, but perhaps don’t realise exactly how important customer service is on the social media channel. So new US research quoted in eMarketer should be a wake up call to companies. It has found that, irrespective of vertical market, customer service is the number one social media conversation topic in the US.
The actual percentage of social media conversations about customer service varied from sector to sector.65% of social media discussions about airlines concerned customer service, dropping to 30% when it came to hotels. However what’s interesting is how far above sector specific factors that customer service ranked.. In banking for example, 31% of conversations concerned fees and rates but 41% were about customer service. And it isn’t just consumers complaining – equally it could be praising excellent service. But unless you are listening and responding to social media then you’ll never know what is being said about your brand and customer service.
Given these US figures it is interesting to compare how ready UK companies are for social customer service. Our own research, the 2011 Eptica UK Multichannel Customer Service Study, found a real difference between sectors. Some, such as fashion, led the way and had embraced social, with eight out of ten fashion retailers providing a link to Twitter and nine out of ten using Facebook. Consumer electronics companies also realised the importance of social media for technical queries, with 60% using forums to deliver answers to customers. However, banks and insurers were lagging behind – no banks linked to Twitter and just one linked to Facebook.
So clearly 2012 is a year for customer service departments to really integrate social media into their plans – whatever sector they are in. Gartner agrees, predicting that “by 2013 at least 35 per cent of customer service centres will incorporate some form of community/social capabilities as part of the contact centre solution.“ Listen to the voice of your customers – whatever channel they are using