Study: Consumers Say That Social Media is the Fastest and Most Reliable Customer Contact Channel

According to U.K.-based eDigital Research, social media is currently the only customer contact channel that guarantees a response from a brand, prompting customers to rate it the quickest and most reliable way to reach a company.

Approximately 80 percent of consumers who have recently contacted a brand through social media platforms heard back from the company within 12 hours, compared to just over one third (37 percent) who heard back within the same time frame when contacting via email.

Of those consumers surveyed who have used social media to get in touch with a company, all of them received a response to their post, comment or tweet.

“Whilst there are still a limited number of consumers using social media channels to contact brands (our survey showed that just 2 percent 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 eDigital Research, in a statement.

The survey of 2,000 consumers found that how a customer contacts a brand is likely to have a large effect on their overall customer experience. While social media is the quickest form of getting in touch, those who contact brands by letter, unsurprisingly, take the longest to receive a response, 62 percent had to wait over 48 hours for a reply.

On average, every one in ten customers are left in the lurch and never receive feedback from a brand after they get in touch. Perhaps even more worryingly, 7 percent of consumers who have used live online chat facilities in the past claimed that they did not hear back from the company, suggesting that more needs to be done by brands to monitor this emerging contact channel.

“If a customer decides that they need to contact a company, their experiences should be the same no matter what channel they use,” according to Eccleston. “Obviously there are obstacles (such as the time delay with post) that some channels need to overcome or find a work around for. 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”.