Possibly businesses still don't understand the role that social media plays in customer service. But they need to.
As Wasp Barcode puts it, "How you manage an irate customer can have long-term consequences for your business. Remember, we live in the age of online reviews. One scathing review can cripple the prospects for a new business." Or an established business, for that matter.
Forrester's 2015 study, “The Future of Customer Service” noted that today “executives don't decide how customer-centric their companies are — customers do.” The study found that “changes such as the explosion of digital communications, mobility and insights gained from big data are having a profound impact on customer expectations.”
It's Good for Businesses, TooBut just because it's something consumers want and expect doesn't mean it isn't also an advantage for businesses. One thing good social listening offers is an opportunity to catch problems before they escalate to the point of customer rage — always preferable. Why? Because:
Groove blogger Len Markidan cites a study by Bain & Company that concluded, “when companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers, on average, end up spending 20 to 40 percent more with the company.” That's definitely an incentive.
Though all businesses aren't using social media for customer service yet, a Gartner study predicts that 90 percent of them will be by 2020. And when you hear the success companies like HP are having, it's hard not to see it as a better — as opposed to just more modern — option.
According to Salesforce, "in Europe, HP’s social media support agents can handle up to 40 percent more customers per day than phone agents, and the average handle time for Facebook and Twitter is three times quicker than chat and twice as fast as phone support."
Meanwhile, the stakes of not embracing social customer support will also become higher.Says Markidan, “One Gartner study found that companies who ignore support requests on social media see an average churn rate that’s 15 percent higher than companies who don’t.”
So the verdict here is "undebatable" as Markidan puts it. Social customer service is a legitimate area businesses need to master — or consumers will take their spending power elsewhere. Don't let it come to that.
This post originally posted on CMSWire.
Title image CC BY 2.0 by stimpsonjake