Social Media Customer Service in Decline



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The number of consumers using social media to resolve issues has dropped compared to two years ago.

The NICE/BCG 2016 Consumer Experience Report focused on customer interactions with providers of financial, telecom and insurance services.

Over 1,700 people between the ages of 18 and 65 were interviewed across the US, the UK, the Netherlands, France and Australia.

While daily, weekly and monthly use of social media channels doubled between 2011 and 2013, those same categories declined between 2013 and 2015. The number of respondents who never use or are not offered social media customer service rose from 58% in 2013 to 65% in 2015.

Respondents who do not use social media cited a number of reasons. 33% said it takes too long to address issues, 32% that it has limited functionality, and 30% that it isn’t feasible for complex tasks. Social media was the channel with the highest percentage of abandons in both 2013 and 2015, with the number rising from 32% to 42% over that period.

Australian and European respondents thought it essential that they be automatically routed to the correct customer service agent along with their information, without being transferred multiple times. They also said that their service provider rep should be aware of their past three to five interactions with the company to tailor service to their needs.

American respondents, on the other hand, said all of those actions would “exceed expectations.” In total, Americans surveyed ranked only 15 out of 25 factors as essential, while other countries’ respondents expected anywhere from 21 to all 25 attributes.

While American respondents seem to have lower expectations, immediate resolution was cited by other countries, genders and ages as the top factor in a perfect experience, valued by 51% of respondents. Other important factors include reps knowing what consumers need and providing an immediate solution, forwarding information and actions from department to department, and knowing what consumers had already done through a self-service channel.

Other findings that can be found in the complete report include:

  • Decreased satisfaction and success since 2013 across the board with all contact channels (except for mobile apps), particularly interactive voice response (down 20%) and social media (down 23%)
  • Churn rates vary among different age groups – while 78% of baby boomers will leave a provider due to a customer service issue, only 54% of millennials will do so
  • Sharp increase in customer scepticism about the effects of their feedback, with only 25% thinking it likely that service providers took action based on their feedback, down from 40% in 2012
Tom Dziersk

Tom Dziersk

“This year’s survey serves as further proof that customer service is becoming more complex and more critical for a company’s success. When an organisation can create a perfect experience there are many dividends, and as the report’s findings make clear, ample room for improvement creates many opportunities for businesses to set themselves apart,” said Tom Dziersk, President of NICE Americas.

To download the full report,  visit NICE’s website. 

Published On: 6th Apr 2016 - Last modified: 22nd Mar 2017
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