With so many people and companies active on social media, it’s no surprise that customers expect service there. Customers often take to social media out of frustration with phone support. They’re fed up with long wait times, dropped calls, and representatives who don’t understand or don’t care about their problems. And they especially hate having to repeat themselves.
Where Traditional Customer Service Falls Short
According to a 2013 study by Accenture, almost 75 percent of respondents cited being “extremely frustrated” when having to contact a company multiple times for the same reason. And 89 percent were equally frustrated by having to repeat the same information to multiple employees through a myriad of channels.
“The main problem organizations are having is keeping up with customer demand,” said Paul Taylor, an innovation coach for Bromford Lab, which designs and tests new products and services for clients. “They need the ability to meet demand for immediate and personalized service and to get away from traditional call centers. Customers are unable to get through to someone straight away who knows their issue and their problem.”
In addition to eliminating the need for customers to repeat themselves, a fast response time is key to good customer service. Failing to quickly connect customers with real people who can answer their questions leads to frustration. In fact, two thirds of customers have hung up on an automated system after getting annoyed with their inability to reach a live person.
Poor customer service can lead clients to switch to the competition and avoid doing business with brands for several years. Worse, their stories can scare off others. An incredible 97 percent of consumers say that reviews influence their buying decisions, and negative reviews can cause shoppers to search for a solution elsewhere.
The Power of a Positive Customer Experience
It’s not all bad news for the customer service world. When the customer experience is positive, three out of four consumers will spend more money with the same business, says a 2014 American Express report. And 55 percent of consumers are willing to spend more with a company that they believe will deliver excellent customer service.
A bad experience can even be turned around with the help of an excellent customer service representative: 70 percent of unhappy customers whose issues were resolved in their favor say they’d be likely to purchase from the same company again.
So how do you create a positive customer experience? A good place to start is by making sure customers can reach you on the channels that are most convenient for them, such as social media or a chatbot on your website. And since most internet users expect a response within minutes, your customer service team needs to be able to easily find and share the information your customers need.
To learn more about how online communication is shaping customer service, check out our eBook, “Social Customer Care: How to Use Social Media to Improve Customer Support.” It explores reasons for adding social care to your customer service programs and provides tips from industry experts on how to get there.