Got social? You’d better, according to new research conducted by an assistant professor of communications at New York University on behalf of customer-relationship manager Conversocial.
Among social media users, a slight majority -- 50.7% -- now report using related services to communicate with corporations, the study of some 500 consumers found.
With the average age of 38, 78% of respondents agreed that either social media platforms would soon replace other means of customer service altogether, or become the dominant way for consumers to communicate with corporations.
The nationwide study was conducted during the last two weeks of November by Liel Leibovitz, an assistant professor of communications at NYU.
“While social media sites are a growing frontier of consumer-corporate interaction, most respondents reported inadequate response times, unanswered queries and unmet expectations,” according to Leibovitz. “Most respondents were also adamant that such behavior would have some or much effect on their future decision to do business with offending corporations.”
Focused on consumers’ sentiments and expectations concerning interactions with companies via social media platforms, the study found that 45% of respondents would feel “angry” if ignored by companies on a particular social media platform.
Even more alarming, nearly 1 in 3 respondents said they would stop doing business with the offending company altogether.
Moreover, if confronted with unanswered customer complaints on a company’s social media site, 88.3% of respondents said they’d be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to buy from that brand.
Also of note, nearly one-third of respondents -- 32.4% -- characterized their overall satisfaction with the way companies use social media sites to communicate with customers as either poor or very poor, while 59.6% expressed guarded optimism for future positive developments in the field. Only 8% were thoroughly satisfied.