Social Media is a Preferred Care Channel but Customers Expect Faster, More Personalized Responses

Amdocs, a provider of customer experience systems and services, has released the findings of a research study that identifies social media as an emerging channel for consumers seeking customer-care assistance.

The Amdocs-sponsored research study comprised of two projects: a survey exploring service providers' customer care readiness on social media conducted by Ovum, and a separate survey conducted by Coleman Parkes that examined consumer attitudes towards social media as a customer care channel.

Key findings:

  • 68 percent of service providers believe their customers take to social media such as Twitter or Facebook because they are unable to reach a care agent on the phone. The reality though, is that 50 percent of consumers actually prefer using social media to reach their service provider rather than call the contact center.
  • 50 percent of customers have tried to communicate with their service provider for customer service on social media yet ¾ never received a response or resolution, leaving a frustrated 80 percent of those citing that they have no choice but to call the call center.
  • 52 percent of consumers expect a response within 30 minutes of their social media contact, but only 24 percent of service providers say they respond within that timeframe.
  • 64 percent of customers say they would be willing to share their social identity with their service provider, in return for better service and 48 percent would like to receive relevant, personalized offers from their service provider via social media.

There's work to be done for service providers to integrate social media data into their customer profiles: 93 percent of service providers state that they cannot identify customers from their social media profiles, and 64 percent of service providers do not store social media interactions in their CRM database.

"Subscribers are increasingly reaching out to their service provider across social media for customer care but due to lack of customer insights service providers are only able to provide generic responses, leaving the customer feeling more frustrated," said Shagun Bali, analyst at Ovum, in a statement. "However, if service providers link their customer's social identity to the customer profile already stored in their CRM systems they can gain contextual knowledge of the customer, and as a result deliver a consistent response while improving customer satisfaction and cutting costs by increasing first call resolution (FCR)."

"The research shows a huge opportunity to deflect customer care to lower-cost, social media channels and to increase Net Promoter Score (NPS) and positive word-of-mouth visibility," said Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president for product and solution marketing at Amdocs, in a statement. "When people take to Twitter or Facebook to ask questions or, worse yet, complain about their service provider, that's an opportunity the service provider can take to proactively resolve that customer's issue – if they know that customer's real identity."

The research combines an Ovum survey, conducted in May 2014, via a questionnaire of 100 global service provider executives; and a survey by Coleman Parkes Research of 4,068 consumers worldwide in January 2014.