Social customer service “isn’t living up to the hype” says contact centre expert

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Pam Plyer, executive practice lead for customer experience and contact centre management at The Northridge Group believes brands are failing to live up to the social media service expectations their customers have of them.

Plyer was quoted following the release of The Northridge Group’s latest State of Customer Service study, which found that 33% of customer queries on social media are going unanswered.

A corresponding survey of over 1,000 respondents found that 26% of consumers choose social media for customer service when they can’t reach a representative through another channel, yet 30% do not feel satisfied by the subsequent interactions they have with brands.

“When it comes to customer service, social media just isn’t living up to the hype,” Plyer states. “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.”

Other findings from the study include that 63% of consumers state they have to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before a customer service inquiry or issue is resolved, despite nearly half having expectations that their query will be resolved within one hour.

“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,” Plyer adds.

“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.”  

The survey also found that just 3% of consumers cite social media as the fastest channel for issue resolution, despite recent Eptica research that states otherwise.

Average response times on Twitter dropped from 8 hours 37 minutes in 2014 to 5 hours 27 minutes in 2015, but consumer expectations are for this to drop further still over the coming 12 months.

About Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.

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