Social media plays more than just a role in customer service – these days, social media is customer service. While face-to-face interactions are always valuable, the ever-growing population of social media users means that brands have an opportunity to connect with customers faster than ever before. There are no lines, no music on hold, just immediate, uninterrupted conversation. In the last two years alone, customer service interactions on Twitter have increased 2.5 times over. This exponential uptick blatantly demonstrates one thing – social media is trending in the world of customer service.
Living in the digital world goes hand-in-hand with convenience and speed. Using mobile devices, we can learn, talk and even shop with the push of a button, so why should customer service prove any different? The answer is, it shouldn’t. According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, 77 percent of customers highlighted time as the most valuable resource a company can provide them with. Quick response times are huge in the world of customer service and social media accelerates what can often be a painstaking process. The instant dialogue facilitated via social media frees up time – a precious commodity for both companies and customers.
That said, great customer service goes beyond rapid-fire response time. Engaging with customers in a productive and positive way can work wonders for a brand’s reputation. A survey analyzed by the Harvard Business Review indicated that customers who have a positive customer care experience are nearly three times more likely to recommend a brand. Alternately, Gartner found that failure to address customer service issues on social media could lead to a 15 percent increase in customer turn-over. These statistics not only stress the importance of positive customer interactions, they also demonstrate that social media is pivotal in facilitating that interaction.
If you’re still not convinced of social media’s role in customer service, take a look at these numbers. In 2015, Aspect and Conversion Research released research elaborating on customer service response across generations. Data showed that nearly 54 percent of millennial Internet users stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer service. Even more interesting, 50 percent of Gen Xers and 52 percent of baby boomers had similar sentiments, indicating that online customer service is important to every age group.
Gone are the days when customer service was strictly conducted over the phone. Now more than ever, social media is playing a key role in communicating with customers and fostering brand loyalty. Forty-two percent of users will share a good customer experience on social, while 53 percent will post about a bad one. There’s no doubt that social media is integral to customer service, so get smart and pay attention to what your customers are saying on every platform. You won’t regret it!