Social Media Falls Short in Customer Service

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Only a third of service organizations bother with it. Customers prefer phone, email, and even the website FAQ page to get questions answered, says a new survey.

Social's still not in the good graces of customers.
Social's still not in the good graces of customers.

Linking social media with customer service remains mostly the domain of marketers seeking 360-degree views of customers, according to a new Forrester study. Only a third of customer service teams request that social options be included in their operations.

“There are so many aspects of social media that make it different from traditional service channels, the biggest being it's so public!” says Clare Wilkerson, head of multichannel strategy at Direct Line, which provides insurance quotes via phone and Web in the U.K. “However, when a customer reaches out for help, they don't care about the channel, they just want a great experience.”

The Forrester survey of 159 contact center executives in the U.S. and U.K., sponsored by Conversocial, found that:

  • While the number of people using Twitter for customer service doubled to 22% from 2009 to 20012, the majority of consumers are happier with their experiences on the phone, via email, and in the FAQ section of a company website.
  • Social service lacks tracking capabilities. Some 35% of social customer service execs say the conversation must be restarted with customers on every interaction.
  • Two thirds of those surveyed see social customer service solutions as their most pressing short-term priority.

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