With social media users routinely posting online about their consumption experiences – good and bad – there is much scope for conversations between firms and their customers. Unfortunately, this includes much room for disastrous interactions that damage customer goodwill, can generate into public relations nightmares and produce costly damage for the firms.
As part of a larger study on the role of social media in customers service, I have been looking at social media users’ preferences, when it comes to interacting with organisations online. The preliminary findings were presented at the Academy of Marketing conference, which took place in Southampton at the beginning of July – slide set below. As usual, your feedback and suggestions are most welcome.
<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/acanhoto/am-2012-presentation-canhoto-and-clark” title=”Social Media and Customer Service” target=”_blank”>Social Media and Customer Service</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/acanhoto” target=”_blank”>Ana Canhoto</a></strong> </div>
These are some of our findings thus far:
– While some analysts proposed that social media users see social networks as private spaces, we found the opposite. Customers expect organisations to monitor social media platforms for brand-related conversations and to respond quickly (sometimes as little as 15 minutes).
– They also expect firms to use the platforms effectively, working around the limitations of each platform and using multiple channels of communication as needed.
– There is evidence of strategic use of social media by customers to achieve particular ends – mostly when it comes to getting a problem solved. Users actively ‘pull’ firms into the conversation by tagging them in status updates.
– Social media is seen as more effective than other channels – problems get solved faster via Twitter than on the phone, for instance. This creates a perverse incentive, encouraging customers to voice their problems more and more publicly.
– Users appreciate consistency in interaction – be it in terms of the time it usually takes to respond or the style and tone of voice employed.
Does this sound familiar? Do you use social media to get a firm’s attention?