A huge percentage of businesses are realising the value of social customer service – the enthusiasm is there, but how many actually practice delivering exceptional social customer service?
We noticed the role social media was set to play in customer service from a very early stage, and have been working to develop Conversocial for companies to make this work for them ever since. Almost 3 years on, the importance and concept of social customer service is finally moving beyond innovators to the early adopter phase. The growth in 2012 has been remarkable, but there is still a long way to go. There are many major consumer brands that have yet to fully grasp what it means to deliver great social customer experience.
SAP, Social Media Today and Pivot have recently joined forces to create a new infographic, The Social Customer Service Conflict, based on The Social Customer Engagement Index. The infographic takes a look in detail at the role social media plays in customer service – the ideology behind it and the realities of social customer service in practice.
Their research found that 71% of businesses use social media for customer service, with almost 88% noting a positive impact on their business.
However, many are still reluctant to allocate a significant amount of resources to social customer care – 77.6% of those surveyed invested less than $50,000. This tells us that many businesses don’t yet see social channels as a serious customer service route, alongside email and phone. Without investing in the right resources - human and technical - to social customer service, you’ll struggle to deliver first contact resolution – the key to customer satisfaction when someone reaches out. Without the right people in place to pick up social inquiries and deal with them to completion on the front line of social communication, responding to customers becomes much more time consuming and frustrating for everyone.
Companies who are already using social for customer service don’t appear to be using it to its full potential, with only 17.7% solving 25% or more customer service issues online. Almost 40% of businesses address issues without having a process in place, choosing to respond on an ad-hoc basis instead. This lack of procedure helps to explain why 32.5% of businesses response times take around 4 hours. On Twitter 30% of customers expect an answer within 30 minutes and on Facebook 29% expect an answer in under 2 hours – the reality of 4 hour response times just isn’t enough to keep customers happy. In only giving attention to such a small percentage of customer issues, companies are not only at risk of social media issues bubbling over into a crisis, but are missing out on the perfect opportunity to turn negative sentiment to positive.
Today, implementing customer service on social channels because “everyone else is doing it”, and considering that a success, just won’t cut it. Your brand’s reputation is on the line, as in the social age businesses have become far more customer-led than ever before. There is no better time than now to deliver great social customer experience and move away from lip service to customer care ideals.
The full Social Customer Service Conflict Infographic is available to view in full here.
What are your thoughts on the conflict social customer service faces? Without a solid structure and the right processes in place, are the intentions of social customer service enough? We’re interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below!