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Why Contact Centers Need to Embrace Social Media in 2018

According to facts and statistics from website builders, 95% of businesses indicate their customer care has a direct impact on their brand image. Regardless of your sector, your customer care strategy will have a big impact on your brand’s loyalty and conversion rates. With social media becoming more prevalent in our society and more of an integral part of our daily lives, why haven’t call centers caught on to the industry’s revolutionary potential of social media?

Customer Preference

According to statistics, 90% of social media users have used social media to communicate with a brand, and 63% of customers expect companies to offer customer service on social media. In fact, social media is the most preferred customer care channel, as 34.5% of customers prefer social media for their customer care needs. Website/live chat was second on the list with 24.7% preference, and email 3rd, with 19.4% preference. As for the conventional telephone call centers, they are only preferred by a shrinking 16.1% of current consumers. The trend is clear: customers want customer care via social media and this is just one reason call centers need to embrace it in 2018.

Cost Effective

It costs, on average, $1 to solve a customer issue on social media, which is one sixth the price of a typical call center interaction. Furthermore, social media customer care (SMCC) agents are 167% more efficient than voice agents. SMCC support, on average, is 63% cheaper than phone support. Considering the savings compounded and the fact that SMCC only requires an internet connection and far less equipment and maintenance, the eventual change over to a SMCC contact center from a traditional call center has a huge financial up side for any brand looking to shave costs.

SMCC Boosts Revenue & ROI

Best-in-class customer care causes 81% greater annual increase in revenue from customer referrals and increases annual ROI (return on investment) by 30.7%, on average. Companies with the best social media customer care experiences have a 92% customer retention rate and good SMCC practices push customers to spend 20-40% more, on average.

Customer Satisfaction & the Sector Disconnect

Good social media customer care can improve the customer satisfaction rate by 26.6%, and 71% of consumers with positive SMCC experiences are likely to recommend the brand to others. According to companies surveyed, 80% of companies say they are delivering exceptional SMCC service, but only 8% of their customers agree. This represents a huge disconnect in the sector, and due to poor SMCC practices, nearly 95% of customer complaints on social media don’t reach companies. Furthermore, one third of all customer complaints on social media are ignored altogether. The industry, as a whole, responds to just 12.9% of information demand, while consumers are demanding so much more. This is yet another reason that call centers need to embrace social media immediately, or lack their brands’ reputations and customer loyalty being jeopardized.

Customer Expectations

Customers expect quick responses to their complaints and queries. 42% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within 1 hour. A further 32% expect a response with 30 minutes, and 11% expect a response immediately. The current average response time from a business is 5 hours and is simply not meeting consumer expectations. Considering Twitter and Facebook are 48% more accurate at delivering response than email, and 44% faster as well, call centers can help bridge the gap between consumer expectations and brands’ response times through embracing SMCC and platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The future of customer care is clearly moving towards social media. Considering it’s the preference of consumers, and is more effective, cheaper, and faster, contact centers need to embrace social media or risk getting left behind in history.

The Rise of Social Customer Care 

This infographic originally appeared on the Websitebuilder blog.