Is Social Media the Key to Excellent Customer Service?
Social media has become a catalyst for fresh thinking on how companies can improve customer service in the digital age. However, effectively implementing social media has been a challenge for many of today’s corporations. Often they are faced with a crush of customer queries but lack the resources to provide an immediate response necessary to satisfy the heightened expectations of today’s consumer. These experiences can result in a negative perception of the company and ultimately damage the brand’s reputation.
What is going to be the key to integrating excellent customer service through social media? At DialAmerica, we recently conducted a survey of our top customer care programs to research what our customers are looking for in an integrated program. The results indicate that the majority of our clients are increasingly looking for ways to integrate social media into their overall communication programs and are learning how to maintain and grow their presence in the digital arena moving forward.
In the survey, fielded over the past month among major U.S. companies that outsource over 25 million dollars in customer care, almost 50 percent now use social media in their communication programs. Facebook and Twitter were among the most popular forms of social media, with over 45 percent of respondents stating they have integrated Facebook into their overall customer support strategies.
Other key findings of the survey included:
62 percent said Facebook is the most relevant social media tool for customer service versus Twitter at only 18 percent
Over 64 percent of respondents say they would like to integrate social media into their customer service programs versus only 5 percent who would like it to remain a separate entity
66 percent indicated their customer service philosophy is a combination of both reactive and proactive outreach
Interestingly, although the trend and preference is to integrate the customer service function with social media, respondents of this survey only predicted a 30-50 percent increase in the use of social media in the next five years.
In today’s digital world, there is no excuse for poor customer service and social media outreach cannot replace good business practices. As we navigate the changing communication landscape and learn ways to effectively reach a multitude of audiences, marketers must make sure they are effectively communicating with their consumers in an integrated way. This will involve both the traditional methods and the new evolving social media platforms.