Who's In Charge of Communications With Customers?

According to the Genesys release of its Getting Closer to the Customer report, surveying more than 798 senior executives worldwide, 58% of C-level respondents consider the CEO responsible for new customer communications channels like social media and mobile, but only 28 of middle managers agree with their superiors’ assessment, and 38% of those non C-suite executives pinpoint the marketing department as having the ultimate responsibility in this area. The disconnect between top-level and mid-ranking executives might be explained by the novelty factor of social media.

Paul Segre, President and CEO of Genesys, says “As companies tackle the demands of delivering a great customer experience across an increasing number of communication channels... delivering an exceptional customer experience requires a comprehensive strategy for emerging mobile and social channels, including how they align and integrate with existing channels, and spanning both marketing and customer service organizations.”

When it comes to driving the customer conversation, the marketing department, not customer service or the C-suite, is driving the response to new channels with 44% of executives saying the marketing department has dominated the dialogue between company and customer, says the report.

The report also found that 43% of companies only began using social media in the last year and only 11% of businesses have been using social media to communicate with customers for three years or more.

Customer Service has not been a priority with new communications channels. Only 42% of organizations use call centers to communicate with customers and just 6% see customer support/service as the main purpose of new communication channels.

Additional Findings of Interest:

  • The majority of companies recognize that the most skilled and knowledgeable employees with social media are not the middle-aged denizens of mahogany row, but rather the Generation Y employees not long out of college. 60% of companies that have set up new communication strategies put Millennials in charge of new media channels.
  • Only 48% of organizations use social media and networking sites to communicate with customers and only 20% use mobile applications, whereas the majority continue to lean on the company website (90%) and email (88%).
  • Companies that appoint a single person, instead of a team, to manage all communications were more successful. 33% of executives within companies that have appointed a team to manage social media/mobile channels felt that there was a disconnect between teams that touch these channels. In organizations that had appointed a single individual to manage new channels, just 9% perceived the same disconnect.

Segre continues, “... given the ubiquity of both mobile devices and social media like Facebook and Twitter... many companies have not clearly assigned responsibility for these channels...”

And, Economist Intelligence Unit deputy editor Annabel Symington, notes that “... the rapid adoption of social media and the huge growth in the mobile market go hand in hand, but companies seem very focused on social media as a singular force and don’t appear to have grasped how interconnected the two trends are...”

For additional information from Genesys, and access to the report in PDF format, please visit here.



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