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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : August 16, 2013

Social media is fastest, most reliable, customer contact channel

There's little wonder that consumers are turning to the likes of Facebook and Twitter to contact companies. New research has concluded that the only customer contact channel that guarantees a response is social media.

by Helen Leggatt

In a study of 2,000 consumers, eDigitalResearch found that of those that had contacted a company through social media, 80% got a response within 12 hours. The turnaround time for social media is far quicker than email contact, for which just 37% of consumers received a response within 12 hours.

The findings are from eDigitalResearch's first white paper into the overall customer experience, examining customer loyalty, as well as experiences across channels, and conclude that social media is the only customer contact channel via which a response can be guaranteed. Of the consumers who had contacted a company via social media, all received a response.

"Whilst there are still a limited number of consumers using social media channels to contact brands (our survey showed that just 2% have recently their Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts to get in touch with a brand), it is currently the only channel that ensures that all consumers receive a response following their contact," said Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch.

An interesting finding is that companies are taking longer to reply to customers who make a complaint than those who are sending positive feedback. It can only be assumed that it's quicker to reply "thanks for the compliment" than it is to analyze and provide feedback for a complaint, despite a quick response advising that the complaint is being looked into being a good first step.

"These results show that there are currently major disparities across customer touch points - measures should be taken to ensure that departments and teams work together to provide the best contact experience possible. Improving the customer experience should be a business wide operation," says Eccleston.

The Customer Experience white paper can be downloaded free of charge.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer preferences, customer service, loyalty marketing, social media, touch points

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