Social media to account for more than 10% of enquiries in contact centres

10th Feb 2015

Social media enquiries are set to account for up to 11.5% of interactions in contact centres this year, according to data from Business Systems.   

Incorporating survey results from over 100 contact centres, Business Systems found the telephone maintaining its status as the predominant channel for customer contact, with 58.7% of contact centres surveyed expecting customer contact by phone to lead the way again this year.

And while inbound email came in second at 18.3%, perhaps the most surprising statistic was that 17.4% of contact centres cited social media as their busiest channel, with respondents expecting a vast increase in use of the channel across the year.

As previous cited in September, part of the proliferation lies in the hands of the consumer – a survey from Our Social Times stated that 42% of social media users now expect a response from brands on Twitter within 1 hour, yet only 9% of brands were currently able to succeed in delivering this.

However, the expected proliferation of the channel is being driven not just by customer complaint expectations, but by  stats that suggest customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more money with them than other customers.

“As consumers adopted social into their lifestyles using mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook, there seemed to be a justified increase in the number of contacts over social and a considered effort by brands to integrate social into the Omni-channel mix,” states Bian Salins, head of social at Capgemini Consulting. 

“Fast-forward five or six years and reality seems to have set in for both, brands and consumers. Despite the appetite and interest, brands are still grappling with a clear understanding of how to make social scale as a channel within its contact centres and blend it with the right metrics, operational efficiency and skill sets whilst faced with the pressure of an always on, public dialogue.”

Business Systems’ research is in contrast to data released at the end of January, which suggested contact centre professionals were more intent on adopting technology to account for the continuing rise of web chat use as a customer support channel.

32% of customer service professionals ranked web chat as the most desirable solution requirement for their contact centre this year, with social media tools not even featuring on the list.

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