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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 26, 2012

Study: Shoppers want customer service through social media

When it comes to customer service, a dedicated phone line doesn't top the list of consumer demands any longer. According to new data from NM Incite people want immediate action - not to wait on hold for long periods of time, and so they're turning to social media to do what busy phone systems have not.

by Kristina Knight

According to the study, by NM Incite and McKinsey, 47% of people are looking for 'active customer service' and they're turning to social networks like Facebook and Twitter to get it. Further, the report shows one in three turn to social media rather than the phone for a brand's assistance.

"What we're seeing is that customers are turning to social media channels for customer service, regardless of whether and where a particular brand is actually equipped to handle customer service over social media," said Gadi BenMark, Senior Vice President of NM Incite's Advisory division. "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."

Other interesting findings include:

• 71% of those who have 'positive customer service' through social media recommend the brand
• 70% are likely to use social media for future questions or problems after getting a positive response
• Nearly one-third turn to branded social pages on Facebook to ask product questions
• More than 10% turn to branded Twitter handles for product information

Tags: customer service, ecommerce trends, McKinsey, NM Incite, social marketing, social network trends

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