As I was perusing Brian Solis’ Blog, I came across an interesting article regarding the investments that businesses allocate towards social media and customer service.
It isn’t a secret that Social Media is becoming a major part of business and an increasingly important tool to interact with your consumers. A recent study found that 71% of businesses reported using Social Media for customer service, and 87.5% of them experienced positive impacts. Obviously this is good. However, as consumers get more connected, the businesses are lagging behind in keeping up with the trend. Companies are not making the appropriate investments in social media to align with the expectations of their customers.
A whopping 77.6% of businesses invested less than $50,000 in social media customer service. Although everyone realizes the importance of social media to their business, they aren’t doing anything about it. Only 7% devote over $250,000 to their social media customer service strategies.
And the lack of investment is really reflected in the amount of customer service issues handled through social media. 41% of businesses handle under 5% of their customer service issues on social media. This just doesn’t make sense. As more consumers take to social media to express their feelings and experiences, shouldn’t businesses devote more resources to social media as well? As I mentioned in a previous blog post, consumers are more influenced by what their peers say online. If companies are more active and responsive to what is happening in the cyber world , it can change the way consumers perceive the brand and influence sales.
Furthermore, just putting more time and money into social media isn’t enough. There needs to be a process or a plan for employees to follow when interacting through social media. If there is a well defined action plan and more autonomy given to employees, it will allow the company to increase response times while providing a consistent and coherent message to its online community.