In the digital world today, Social Networks are gradually replacing call centers. More and more customers are choosing social media channels to reach out to companies for customer service, states a new study conducted by Fishburn hedges and Echo Research.
According to the study, which included around 2000 consumers, and digitally pioneering brands such as BT, Sainsbury’s, PepsiCo, O2, HSBC, Oasis, and Barclaycard, more than a third of people have already interacted with companies through social media.This is double the proportion that was seen eight months back(19% to 36%).
Two thirds of people that have engaged with brands on social media (68%) believe that it has allowed them to find their voice. Most of them (65%) believe that social media is a better way to communicate with companies than call centers.
Two fifths of the people (40%), even those who haven’t used social media, believe that it improves customer service.
“Many people are currently enjoying the VIP treatment from brands on social media. As millions more catch on to this great route into traditional customer service channels, the challenge for brands will be maintaining the same level of service. Over the coming years, will Twitter become the next call centre? We are urging brands to think about this now, as there are some clear and simple ways to use these new customer service channels to great effect.” said Eva Keogan, head of innovation at Fishburn Hedges.
“Social media is taking off as real people are responding, rather than callers being stuck behind automated call routing and messaging. The best companies are training and releasing their staff to manage this in a professional and responsible manner, to often great results. Welcome to a new and exciting world we call ‘social business,” added Sandra Macleod, group CEO of Echo Research.
Social networks are not going to wipe out call centers completely. But, they are going to open up yet another channel that brands can use to engage with their customers and offer support.