A new study from Sword Ciboodle, a customer service provider, and thinkJar, a customer service consulting firm, shows that most businesses are incorporating social media sites like Twitter and Facebook as an avenue for customer service.
75% of the nearly 400 companies in the United States and United Kingdom that took part in the study said that they were using social media outlets in one way or another. Of those, 59% of those organizations have adopted Twitter where 60% have adopted Facebook, and close to 85% of those businesses that use one of those sites actually use both of them.
The size of a company has had some influence with how social media has been utilized, if at all. Among businesses that have more than 1000 employees, 40% of them have been using social media for customer service for the past two years. For companies that have between 100 and 500 employees, just 53% have begun to use social media in the past 12 to 24 months. Moreover, 35% of those smaller companies haven’t even gotten around to trying the social media-driven customer service model.
Esteban Kolsky, principal and founder of thinkJar, said that social customer service isn’t going away anytime soon, so businesses will eventually have to consider the medium. “The trick is to truly understand how to navigate this hyped-up, yet semi-mysterious ‘customer service frontier,'” he said.
Between the two countries included in the poll, the United States was found to be using social channels for customer service a little bit longer than the United Kingdom. Fewer U.S. respondents expressed hesitation when asked if they were working towards implementing a social media-based customer service outlet.
The biggest reason that companies have gotten into social customer service is because such a medium was the request from their customers. Given that 71% of customers go online first whenever they have a problem with a product, businesses’ decision to meet them halfway somewhere out there on the internet is probably a wise decision. Overall, 89% of respondents in this study said they believed that providing customer service via social media sites was a good move on their part and 91% believe it’s been good for the customers, as well. In fact, increased customer satisfaction was named as the greatest benefit among companies that have started using social customer service.
Anybody have any experience with customer service via Facebook and Twitter? If you feel like sharing your experience or thoughts about it, lay it on the line in the comments section below.