Commentary

Social Media Customer Service Less Than Spectacular

A growing number of consumers are turning to social media to resolve customer service issues -- but companies are frequently failing to live up to their expectations, or indeed provide even minimal services via social media, according to a new study from The Northridge Group titled “The State of Customer Service 2015.”

Northridge conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 respondents and found that 33% said their customer service interactions on social media failed to meet their expectations. Meanwhile 52% said the experience met their expectations, and 14% said it exceeded their expectations.

By contrast, phone conversations for customer service met consumer expectations for 66% of respondents, exceeded them for 24%, and failed to live up to expectations for just 10%. Online chat was also highly rated, meeting expectations for 59% of respondents, exceeding them for 26%, and failing to meet them for 15%.

Asked about the specific shortcomings of social media as a customer service channel, 63% of respondents noted that they have had to contact a brand at least twice before getting their complaint addressed -- and 10% said they had to make contact four or more times. Finally 33% said they never got a response to a social media inquiry, period.

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Customer expectations are admittedly high, with 17% basically expecting a response immediately (i.e., within a few minutes), and 25% expecting a response within one hour. However 32% said they had to wait at least a day to get a response, and 30% had to wait a week or more. What’s more, 39% said their issue still hadn’t been resolved after a week.

Unsurprisingly, consumers still prefer phone, email, and online chat over social media for resolving customer service issues. While 50% said they prefer phone and 27% opt for email, just 2% said social media is their preferred channel for customer service.

1 comment about "Social Media Customer Service Less Than Spectacular".
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  1. Daniel Soschin from Speaker & Blogger, June 11, 2015 at 12:42 p.m.

    I think we're still at the point where service through social is a hassle and unknown quantity for consumers, so it's reserved as a last resort.

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