Research: 60 Percent of Companies Don’t Formally Support Social Customer Care

More than 68 percent of businesses recognize social media as a necessary service channel, yet 60 percent of companies are not formally supporting social customer care because they don’t feel they have the right resources or tools in place to begin offering social customer care, according to research released today from Five9 and The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI). According to the ICMI survey, almost 40 percent of consumers already use social media for customer service. Additionally:

  • 53 percent last used Facebook for a support interaction.
  • Of those that use Twitter, 21 percent have tweeted a request for service.
  • In the last week, 48 percent watched a support video online and 60 percent read a brand’s blog.
  • 86 percent say they’d be more satisfied if offered their 'channel of choice', including social.
  • If a brand doesn't offer the preferred communication channel, but still gives good service, 47 percent of customers would still move to a competitor that gives them both.

“With more than 1.2 billion people on Facebook and 500 million plus tweets sent daily, it seems like everything is either being said or done through social media,” said Lance Fried, senior vice president of social and mobile, Five9, in a statement. “Organizations need to consider, with the overwhelming number of daily social interactions that occur, how they decide what really requires a response; and how they can respond as quickly and efficiently as they do to inquires over the phone."

Companies need to realize that it’s critical to support customers via social channels. According to the survey:

  • More than 68 percent of businesses say social is a necessary service channel.
  • 55 percent of companies feel social support is a competitive differentiator.
  • Over 38 percent think they will lose customers without social support options.
  • Higher customer satisfaction is reported by the 61 percent that offer social care.
  • 58 percent say social care increases their customer loyalty.
  • The risk of negative sentiment going viral is reduced by 35 percent for those companies that offer social service channels.

Even with those numbers, more than half of companies are not formally supporting social media for customer care. Most companies don't feel they have the right resources or tools in place to support customers via social media. The biggest challenges that customer service teams face when trying to offer support via social media include:

  • Providing accurate reporting and analytics – 80 percent.
  • Listening to all the social activity – 74 percent.
  • Integrating social with CRM – 73 percent.
  • Observing and coaching agents – 68 percent.
  • Prioritizing customer responses - 66 percent.
  • Arming agents with tools to quickly and effectively solve problems - 63 percent.
  • Eliminating SPAM from agent queues - 58 percent.
  • Routing posts to the correct agent - 53 percent

"Fewer and fewer companies are debating the necessity of providing social customer support,” Sarah Stealey Reed, content director and senior analyst at ICMI, in a statement. “The conversation has shifted, focusing on how to provide customer support on social channels, rather than on the why. That's where technology comes in. If the contact center is given the right social engagement and analytic tools that empower agents, delivering excellent, next generation social customer experience will happen."