Evolving Customer Services

A recent report looking at customer service trends, commissioned by Kcom in association with the Customer Contact Association (CCA), shows business increasingly turning to social media to help shape the future of their customer services strategy.

Social media monitoring has tripled in the last year: Kcom and CCA research undertaken in 2011 showed that only 20% of organisations were actively monitoring social media. Their latest research, completed in 2012, reported 72% of businesses were now monitoring social media; as more start to understand the power of social media and its level of influence, this will continue to increase. With 27 per cent of adults and almost half of all teenagers now owning a smartphone[1], this trend looks set to increase.

The customer “voice”: The report finds that the evermore demanding customer is now armed with the ability and tools to rate their customer experience and share it with a global audience. They are comfortable with sharing both good and bad experiences, in the hope that their intended target sits up, takes notice and responds accordingly.

“Face to face doesn’t have the same impact. Voicing concerns and enquiries publically generates a better response.” says Mark Pritchard, Business Development Director at Kcom. “Therefore businesses need to have the ability to manage negative responses on social media – a complaint isn’t always a terrible thing. If an organisation responds and acts upon the comment, it can actually create a good customer experience. It is also a great way to share positive comments and reviews to a wider audience and these reviews can be used to generate more business.”

Social media shaping customer experience strategy: Whilst businesses are focusing on changing the way people purchase and consume products, they’re increasingly using social media to shape their customer service strategy.

Sixty eight per cent use social media as an opportunity to engage with customers;

89% use information gathered from monitoring social media to help refine and develop their customer service;

90% of industry experts who used information gathered from monitoring social media said that it also helped them manage their brand and reputation;

66% of industry experts have trained their staff in using social media so that customer experiences can be logged and improved.

“What is important to take away from this research is that organisations aren’t just listening to what is being said about them, they’re using it as an intelligence gathering platform. Whilst people take to social media to share their experiences, it is great that organisations are making the most of this free marketing tool.” says Mark. “Creating a customer experience strategy around social media allows organisations to demonstrate their commitment to making their business as customer focused as possible.”

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