Social media has helped generate an efficient two-way street for brands and their publics to communicate, but some brands seem to be stuck on the one-way street of yore—and their customers aren’t happy about it. As it turns out, a full third (33%) of consumers who contact brands on social media with a customer service question never get a response, according to a new study released this week by management consulting firm The Northridge Group.
Based on a survey of more than 1,000 respondents, the study finds that 26 percent of consumers choose social media for customer service when they can’t reach a representative through another channel. When companies do respond, more than 30 percent of their responses do not meet the customers’ expectations. In fact, social media has the lowest percentage of issue resolution and follow up of all the channels.
According to Pam Plyler, executive practice lead for customer experience and contact center management at The Northridge Group, the survey results indicate that social is a critical channel that is commonly used for escalations—and companies are not meeting consumer needs.
“When it comes to customer service, social media just isn’t living up to the hype,” said Plyler, according to a news release. “While there are added complexities to managing customer service through social media, engagement should not be considered optional. With the right focus, this channel can be effectively integrated into your overall service strategy.”
The survey also found that just 3 percent of consumers cite social media as the fastest channel for issue resolution, and only 2 percent cite it as their preferred channel.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- Sixty-three percent of consumers have to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before a customer service inquiry or issue is resolved.
- Forty-two percent of consumers expect resolution within one hour when using social media for customer service inquiry or issue.
- Thirty-nine percent of consumers say that companies resolve their customer service issues or inquiries on social media within a week or longer.
“Nearly half of consumers plan to use social media for customer service issues the same or more than they currently do. There are clearly opportunities for companies to provide excellent customer service on all channels including social media,” said Therese Fauerbach, CEO of The Northridge Group, in the release. “Consumers want to use social to resolve problems, but the experience is inconsistent compared to other channels. Social media is a critical channel that companies should leverage to deliver a seamless omni-channel customer experience.”
In the survey, consumers were asked to provide feedback on customer service experiences via various channels including social media, phone and email. The survey results have a margin of error of 3 percent.
Source: PRWeb; edited by Richard Carufel