A new study has revealed the extent to which consumers, especially those in the younger demographic, are choosing social media for customer service ahead of more traditional methods, like email and telephone.
Sitel, a leading customer care outsourcing provider, surveyed more than 1,000 people across Britain aged between 16 to 64, and discovered the impact that social media has made on the consumer service industry.
Highlights from the report include:
- 15 percent of 16-24 year olds prefer to receive customer service via social media over any other method, compared to just 8 percent of 25-34 year olds and 3 percent of those aged 35-44. This illustrates the importance of brands implementing a solid social media strategy to capture and retain the attention of the younger demographic
- When facing a problem with a product, 57 percent of customers, including 71 percent of 16-24 year olds and 65 percent of 25-34 year olds, will first search for a solution to that problem online
- The study noted that strong telephone support is also critical for brands, particularly those whose target audience age skews higher, as less than one in three (32 percent) of customers aged 55-64 will go online as a first step when they have an issue with a product
“Social media is dramatically altering the customer service landscape. With easy access to real-time information, a new generation of ‘always-on’ consumers is more empowered and demanding than ever. This trend is on the rise as social media proliferates, both online and on mobile, across all age groups and demographics,” said Lawrence Fenley, Sitel managing director for UK and Ireland. “To build trust and brand loyalty in this rapidly changing environment, companies must develop a social media customer service strategy that is responsive, proactive and engaging in order to address customers’ needs.”