Customer service is a key component for success for any business. From phones to Facebook, today’s customer is turning to a variety of communication vehicles to converse with companies, but according to a recent report they are struggling with successfully integrating these different support channels.
However, many customers don’t look to Facebook for customer service. Zendesk surveyed more than 30,000 companies and their customers about customer service behavior, finding that the satisfaction rate through Facebook came in dead last. Phone calls and chatting are still the preferred methods when customers have questions.
Providing consistently great service for every communication channel is an obstacle for most companies, according to the Q3 2013 Zendesk Benchmark report, which surveyed more than 30,000 companies and their customers and measures key metrics around customer support efficiency, customer self-service behavior, and levels of customer engagement. Virtually all businesses are facing the challenge of offering an integrated experience across all the various channels, the report found.
While more businesses are creating Facebook pages to reach customers, according to the survey, the satisfaction rate is still lagging as compared to more traditional communication vehicles like the phone. Below the key findings for each support channel are measured:
- Voice (phone or other Internet telephone services): 91 percent customer satisfaction
- Chat: 85 percent customer satisfaction
- Help Center/Web Form: 83 percent customer satisfaction
- Email: 82 percent customer satisfaction
- Twitter: 81 percent customer satisfaction
- Facebook: 74 percent customer satisfaction
The common thread in these top-performing communication channels is 1:1 real-time interactions between agents and customers, likely contributing to their higher levels of satisfaction, the report stated.
While the data points to a higher customer satisfaction rate with older, more established modes of communication, it’s unclear if this is caused by customers’ expectations for each channel or if companies are struggling to develop effective customer service strategies for newer channels, according to the survey. Many businesses are still experimenting with how to best support customers via social channels, which could explain Facebook’s lower satisfaction scores.
This doesn’t mean though that B2B companies should decide against creating a Facebook page to interact with customers. There are 1.26 billion Facebook users and many now have access to Smartphones, helping to leverage the site’s popularity. According to Adobe’s 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey, Facebook is the dominant social network accessed via mobile with 75 percent, followed by Twitter at 28 percent, Google+ at 26 percent, Instagram at 13 percent, and Pinterest at 9 percent.
While the most popular social activity is to read status updates, the Adobe survey found that consumers are also using their mobile devices to view Facebook fan pages. In fact, 44 percent of all consumers access their social networks on a daily basis, with another 20% reporting that they visit these sites on a weekly basis.
So where does all of this leave a B2B company? Yes, the Zendesk Benchmark survey found that companies are struggling with Facebook in terms of Facebook’s customer service satisfaction rates, but the social media site is here to stay. To truly leverage Facebook while ensuring a positive customer experience, B2B companies need to take the site seriously as another possible communication vehicle, which means creating engaging posts and responding to customers’ posts.
For more easy tactics to connect with customers, please check out 15 reasons why B2B companies should not ignore Facebook.
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