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  • 07.14.11

Infographic: Is Social Media A Viable Customer Service Channel?

You have a customer service issue. Should you go to the company website? Call their toll-free number? Post a message on their Facebook page? All of the above? And if you’re the company, how do you track and manage touch points with customers across an ever growing number of sources?

You have a customer service issue. Should you go to the
company website? Call their toll-free number (if they actually even have one)? Post
a message on their Facebook page? All of the above? And on the flip side, if
you’re the company, how do you track and manage touch points with customers
across an ever growing number of sources?

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To find out, the folks over at ClickFox, a company specializing in
customer experience analytics, conducted a survey to assess the potential cost savings
from addressing customer service issues via social media, the impact of word of
mouth influence in the social sphere, and the degree to which customers
understand the tools currently available to them.

customer service

They found 40.2%
of customers who weren’t able to get their issues resolved in a timely manner
via social media then resorted to calling the company’s toll-free number.
ClickFox estimates each phone call to customer service can cost companies $15
or more–avoidable costs that can directly impact a company’s bottom line.

It will probably come as no surprise, but word of mouth was
HUGE. 96.5% of customers indicated
they were “somewhat influenced” to “very influenced” by other customers’
comments about companies. That means only 3.5% responded that they were “not at
all influenced” by customer comments. As the social
commerce market continues to grow
, the role of consumer reviews and
comments will become an increasingly important factor when making buying
decisions.

“Companies must figure out a way to incorporate social
channels into a total customer service solution that they can manage throughout
the complete lifecycle of the customer” says Amir Dekel, director of product
marketing and communications at ClickFox. “They need to be able to capture what
happens during every interaction–to create a link between an anonymous Twitter
user and their CRM system” Dekel added.

But not all customers are on the social media customer
service bandwagon yet. 76.1%
responded they would be more likely to use social media for customer service
and support if they better understood the tools available to fit their specific
needs. That means companies must focus on educating their customer base on how
and when to use each social media platform in a way that’s easy to understand.

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Although use of social media as a customer service channel
is still an emerging trend in most industries, results from ClickFox’s survey
underscore the opportunity for potential cost-savings for companies, the
importance of word of mouth, and the potential for widespread adoption once
consumers fully understand how and why to use social media.

Pay Shawn’s digital tree house a visit at shawngraham.me or
continue the conversation on >Twitter.

About the author

Shawn Graham partners with small businesses to create, implement, and manage performance-driven marketing strategies. His knowledge base includes media relations, business development, customer engagement, web marketing, and strategic planning.

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