Consumers demanding service via social media

9th Nov 2012

Nearly half of US social media users actively seek customer service through social media, new research has revealed.

Nielsen and McKinsey’s joint venture NM Incite surveyed 2,000 US social media consumers and found nearly one in three social media users (30%) prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone. 

Unsurprisingly, 18-24 year-olds were the biggest users of social service channels but even a third of the oldest group, age 65+, were found to also use social media to communicate their issues with brands.

In terms of frequency, half of social media users engaged with social customer service more than once a month, whilst nearly one in ten use social channels for customer service on a daily basis, the figures showed.

Gadi BenMark from NM Incite said: “Today's customers choose when and where they voice their questions, issues and complaints. They don't care if a company is set up to answer customer questions on Facebook, or if it has an actual Twitter handle for customer service.  

“The implications are enormous for brands that are not implementing effective social care. There is also great upside for those that understand that the lines between marketing and customer service are blurring, and take action to organize, operate, and manage performance in this new merged world.”

Additionally, NM Incite’s survey suggested that positive social care experiences fuel further demand for effective social care with 71% of those who experienced great social care likely to recommend a brand based on their most recent experience. Just 7% of customers that have a negative experience would do the same.

BenMark added: “The data is compelling and tells us that effective social care can give brands a big advantage.When you consider the span of friend and family networks who can view the positive or negative social care interactions, the effective reach of a well-executed response can be much bigger than you think.”

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