The ways that people interact with the world around them and how customers expect to interact with companies aren’t what they once were. Hussein Kamel, Senior WFM Consultant at Teleopti, discusses how well-honed customer care via social media is no longer a choice but a necessity.
The world is changing around us, but how exactly? Here are some interesting facts.
In 2014 alone, smart phones and tablets today comprised 60% of all online traffic, and that was up from 50% in 2013. 82% of people using Twitter today are accessing it from their mobile devices, and of the 1.74 billion monthly active Facebook users, 56.5% ONLY login to their accounts via a mobile device. In a Gartner release about social media, they predict that refusing to use social media to communicate with customers will soon be as damaging to companies as failing to answer a call or email is right now. Adoption of social customer care programs increased fivefold from 12% in 2010 to 59% in 2013 for major customer service centers. 33% of users even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than calling them.
Social customer care is now becoming an imposing reality as opposed to traditional model of customers calling in and waiting to be answered. A lot of our communication amongst our groups, either social or professional, are through different mobile messaging applications on social platforms that are all in the palm of our hands. It is fast, and easy. Furthermore, when it comes to social media and “groupthink”, you can identify with other users, with users who share your interests or your common pains.
The speed at which this has been changing has led to companies having to deal with social media as a real channel to interact with their customers, this creates many benefits as well. It’s an easy way to learn about your customers and their preferences. It allows you to receive instant feedback. You can share content faster and more cheaply with social media.
The consequence of this of course, if this channel is ignored, can be detrimental to an organization’s reputation. If there is no clear strategy to keep up to date with how your company is being reacted to on social media – what is being posted, commented or tweeted about your brand – or how to respond to it, then this could create unexpected, likely undesired, repercussions for your brand.
So, if your organization does not have a clear strategy for dealing with social media as a very legitimate and real customer-interaction channel, with well-defined customer care in the coming period, it is highly recommended that this discussion should start. Ultimately, in all cases, the customers on FB, Twitter, and other platforms have probably started discussing your brand, it is your choice to participate in that discussion, or let them run away with it.
Social customer care is now a reality and here to stay.