Recent research shows that large businesses, including banks, are increasingly using social media for customer service.

Although marketing remains at the heart of how brands are using social media, there is also a growing emphasis on customer service. According to Zendesk, 62% of customers have used social media for customer service issues and 58% of companies with over 1 year’s social media experience use it for customer service management (see the extract from our recent infographic, below). This is supported by a report from TNS, the research company, which surveyed more than 1000 consumers between the ages of 16 and 64 and found that 71% of people turn to the internet when they have a problem with a product.

With this, the pressure to get customer service right is increasing. According to American Express, customers will spend 21% more if they receive good customer service via social media and they will soon walk away if you get it wrong. In the past year, 80% of ‘social media savvy’ consumers have walked away from a purchase due to poor customer service.

A quick response rate is an important part of this, with 81% of Twitter users saying they expect a same-day response to questions and complaints. This is something looked at in the Social Brands 100, a  report by social media monitoring company, Brandwatch, and Headstream, a marketing agency, that seeks to identify the top 100 brands leading the way in social media. They found that media, travel and leisure brands are particularly quick to respond to enquiries.

Another industry focusing on customer service is the financial sector. Between December 2011 and March 2012, Brandwatch studied UK banks and found that customer service plays a dominant role in their Twitter usage (see chart below).

Bank usage of Twitter for customer service (click to enlarge)

Their research also looked at the responsiveness of each bank by measuring the number of messages directed to them against the number of responses. Of particular interest here is Metro Bank who claim to offer “unparalleled levels of service and convenience to customers 7 days a week”. Despite their claim, they were the least responsive bank surveyed.


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