New research has revealed that customers are shunning call centres for social media to interact with brands.
Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research surveyed 2,000 consumers alongside brands including BT, O2 and HSBC and found more than a third of people have already interacted with brands through social media – almost double the figure from eight months previously.
The majority of those surveyed (65%) see social media as a better way to communicate with companies than call centres with 40% claiming it improves customer service.
Additionally, the research showed that 68% of those that have engaged with brands via social networks believe it has allowed them to “find their voice”.
Whilst the findings show a shift from call centre engagement, that does not mean call centres have had their day, said Fishburn Hedges. Instead, the increasing adoption of social will have implications for reputation and require firms to implement training, tools and organisational culture.
Eva Keogan from Fishburn Hedges said: “Many people are currently enjoying the VIP treatment from brands on social media. As millions more catch on to this great route into traditional customer service channels, the challenge for brands will be maintaining the same level of service. Over the coming years, will Twitter become the next call centre? We are urging brands to think about this now, as there are some clear and simple ways to use these new customer service channels to great effect.”
An infographic from Fisburn Hedges displaying the social media customer can be found here.