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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 04, 2014

Companies not taking social customer service seriously

Companies realize that social media is a must-have in today's online, connected environment. But many still are not taking it seriously enough, according to new research from social relationship infrastructure firm Sprinklr and customer experience systems and services company Amdocs.

by Helen Leggatt

When consumers head to a company's Twitter or Facebook page to leave a question or complaint, they expect a response. Simply having a presence in a social environment just isn't enough.

According to Sprinklr's latest research, 20% of companies rarely, if ever, respond to customer complaints made via social media, yet customers expect a response, and a speedy one at that. Almost all think an hour of waiting is more than enough.

Furthermore, 38% of consumers will feel more negative about a brand that fails to meet their expectations for a timely social response and 6 in 10 will "take unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction".

The study analyzed publicly available data from over 120 large companies including Samsung, Macy's, Jeep, BMW, Sony, and H&M. It revealed that 11% of brands have lost revenue, 15% have lost customers, and 26% have tarnished reputations simply as a result of negative social comments.

"The connected and empowered consumer is fundamentally challenging how large enterprises do business," said Ragy Thomas, CEO of Sprinklr.

Recent research from Amdocs found that 50% of service provider customers actually prefer using social media rather than traditional contact channels such as telephoning a call centre.

However, their findings also reveal the current social customer care climate is not impressing customers. Half said they had tried to communicate with their service provider on social media but three-quarters never received a reply leaving 80% with no option but to call the call center.

"The research shows a huge opportunity to deflect customer care to lower-cost, social media channels and to increase Net Promoter Score (NPS) and positive word-of-mouth visibility," said Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president for product and solution marketing at Amdocs.

Tags: customer service, research, social media

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