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Studies reveal consequences of ignoring consumers on social media
Recent studies have shown that consumers are turning to social media for their customer services requirements. Those companies or brands that don't bother to answer queries or complaints on social channels risk turning away consumers for good as new studies from Sitel and Conversocial reveal.
A survey in the UK by Sitel found that consumers are increasingly turning to the likes of Facebook and Twitter to voice their customer service or product concerns. This is particularly true of younger generations.
Of the 1,000 or so adults surveyed 15% of 16-24 years olds cited a preference for social media to interact with customer service over any other method. A fair few of this age group also used social media to let everyone know how unhappy they are with a brand's performance with 7% turning to social media to complain.
Older consumers were more likely to use email and telephone customer service routes. Just 8% of 25-34 year olds turned to social media as did 3% of 35-44 year olds. When asked what companies could do to improve customer service, 81% of consumers aged 55-64 said "make contact numbers easier to find", compared with 52% of consumers aged 16-24.
Brands that don't pay heed to complaining consumers on their social media channels face upsetting consumers to the point where they are unlikely to consider doing business again.
A new study from Conversocial reveals that almost half (49.5%) of social media users are "far less likely" to do business with brands that have unanswered questions on their social platforms, seeing it as a bad sign, and 38.8% "somewhat less likely".
"While social media sites are a growing frontier of consumer-corporate interaction, most respondents reported inadequate response times, unanswered queries, and unmet expectations," said Liel Leibovitz, Assistant Professor of Communications at NYU, who designed the survey for Conversocial. "Most respondents were also adamant that such behavior would have some or much effect on their future decision to do business with offending corporations."
So what do social media users expect from companies when they leave a question on the Wall? Over half (52.4%) expect a response at some point, but not necessarily straight away while 31.8% expect an immediate reply. A small number (15.8%) have very little expectation and believe businesses don't know what they're doing online.
"Most companies are still failing to keep social customers sweet. If our respondents' predictions are realized, and social networks are the future of communication between brands and consumers, there's a lot more work to be done for companies to hold onto their customers," concluded Conversocial in their report which is free to download online.
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