The State Of Social Customer Service [with Infographic]

The state of social customer serviceSome of you have experienced customer service from brands via social media. Of course with different outcomes. And some of you have never taken advantage of this medium to get product issues solved.

Sure, I’ve had my share too. When I was stuck in a Delta flight waiting to departure for 45 minutes and tweeted my frustration (just being an inpatient jerk, really), they got back to me almost immediately. Some time ago when my site was hacked, I contacted Network Solutions customer service department over the phone and they said it would take about 48 hours to get my site back up, I turned to Shashi Bellamkonda on Twitter and had my site back up in less than 2 hours.

Of course you can also run into issues with companies like Time Warner Cable that will completely ignore you no matter how nasty your tweets are.

Social media has proven to be a great vehicle to ensure customer satisfaction over the last few years. Companies that identify this are able to turn issues, something that’s considered negative, into positive outcomes right in front of the public eye.

But what is the current state of customer service in social media? The Social Media Customer Service Report by TNS answers this question in this nice infographic by Our Social Times.

What’s clear in this infographic, is how even tough we’re slowly starting to turn more to social media vehicles to address our issues with companies, the traditional platforms are still very important and, despite the clear advantages for these companies to establish this type of connection with consumers, 60% don’t even care about responding to these direct messages.

When people in this survey were asked what companies should do to improve their customer service experience, 53% responded that companies should address possible issues by posting video demonstrations and tutorials online and only 11% said companies should offer an immediate response on services like Twitter. It’s kind of surprising to me that 68% said they wanted companies to have a prominent contact number on their website, specially when we all know what a hassle a call to a customer service department can be.

A few weeks ago I talked about Social Commerce and the fact that, even tough we are used to making purchases online, these purchases are not happening on social platforms like Facebook as fast as we thought. We also know how, even tough brands are able to acquire spectacular numbers of fans, true engagement is very low.

Today we’re looking at something similar in customer service. Is the user only looking at social media as a social networking vehicle? Or is it that brands are not being successful in adopting these technologies to establish new communication channels?

One more thing I’d like to see, and I’m frankly surprised is not reflected in the infographic, is how platforms like GetSatisfaction are performing in the customer service segment.

How about Small Business? How about you?

I’d love to hear from you on a couple of subjects here:

  • From the consumer perspective, have you considered approaching a brand with the purpose of solving an issue via social media? What was your experience? Do you prefer to get on a phone call?
  • And as an entrepreneur, do you use social media channels to solve your customers issues? What is your experience?

Thank you. And, here is your infographic.

Social Customer Service

Infographic courtesy of Our Social Times

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  • Jeff Kirby

    Interesting topic to bring up, Francisco. A couple of months ago, I had a ticketing issue with Megabus – I needed to reschedule a ticket, but had heard differing answers from customer service.
    I’ve followed Megabus on Twitter for a couple of years, so I tweeted my inquiry. I got a response asking for more information (I kept my first tweet somewhat vague, since it was a public forum), and replied with more information. Dead air. Tumbleweeds.
    I ended up emailing Megabus and getting everything figured out within a business day or two.
    Megabus does a great job interacting with passengers and curious tweeters when things are going well, but they need to be more attentive to customers who reach out via Twitter when things aren’t going so well.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Hi Jeff, that sounds like the “Retention Dept” at companies like Dish Network, when you want to order new service they pick up the phone immediately but, if you want to cancel they have a strategy to handle you and it starts with making you wait on the phone longer than usual, then they go into the reasons why you want to cancel and so on… until they get to the point where there is nothing left to say and throw a couple of free months at you to retain you.

    Some companies are really bad at customer service in general, not just in social media, and some of them do that on purpose.

    Ironically, my experience with Directv was an immediate response (5 minutes) on Twitter.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.  

  • royatkinson

    The circular portion of the infographic (comparing age groups) would be much easier to understand if the arcs had not been rotated. The rotation obscures the similarities and makes the differences harder to see. (I know it’s from Our Social Times.)

  • http://www.central-e-commerce.com/china-the-leading-nation-for-apple-and-android-activations/ Michelle

    I love infographics and this post is great. Social Media has such influence these days, and many businesses that are with the times are using social media for customer service. I had an incident with a local bank who I didn’t even have an account, and the only way they sat up and took notice of my complaints was when I contacted them via social media.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Exactly, when it got to the point of being embarrassed in public rather than having an active involvement.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • http://www.dubtizzle.com/ Dubtizzle

    It all started with forums!

  • rahul247rocks

    Wow that’s a really informative and very unique infographic

  • Sonsoles

    Hi Francisco, 
    really interesting analysis about customer service through Social Media. I attended a seminar few months ago where the case study of Zappos came up as an example of customer service on social media platforms. Although they have several Twitter accounts, they still pay attention to the phone customer service, since many incidences couldn’t be solved on Twitter. You can read here a bit more about how their use of social media is a really good example for other companies!
    http://www.conversocial.com/blog/entry/zappos-delivering-wow-customer-service-through-twitter 

  • http://patiofurniturexpress.com/ Herlinda Robert

    Of course you can also run into issues with companies

  • Tom

    I like infographics also. And I find this incredibly confusing.

    In the first graphic, why does 48% take up three quarters (or thereabouts) of the circle?

     I don’t understand the line graph. What is the y axis? What are the
    lines for? For instance, where is 12% on the yellow line? Where is 11%
    on the green line?

     And why are those three dially things displayed like that when they add up to over 100% each?

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    And some of you have never taken advantage of this medium to get product issues solved.

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    Companies that identify this are able to turn issues, something that’s
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    And some of you have never taken advantage of this medium to get product issues solved.

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