Consumers have learned that when you want to resolve an issue with a retailer or brand quickly, the fastest path is often through Facebook, Twitter or some other social media channel.
New research from Accent Marketing provides insights on various ways consumers engage with social media. High on that list is addressing customer service issues.
According to research, 72 percent of consumers only want to interact with brands via social media. In the case of Facebook, 82 percent have used the platform to contact a customer service representative. Thirty-four percent of men and 25 percent of women use Twitter to speak to a brand after a product purchase.
Back in 2012, I found that the quickest way to get an issue with one chain's service department was to take my gripes (following extended time getting nowhere on the phone) to social media.
Despite the fact that consumers are increasingly using social media channels to vent their frustrations, many companies are still not viewing Facebook, Twitter, et al as customer service channels, John Hoholik, chief growth officer at Accent, told MediaPost's Marketing Daily.
A 2013 report by Conversocial supports Mr. Hoholik's analysis. In that study, Conversocial found that most consumers go to social channels looking for a direct answer to the question right then and there. Instead, 98 percent are given an e-mail address or phone number to call. Seventy-six percent say the conversation with the retailer or brand dies after they get redirected.
What grade would you give retailers on the whole for how they address customer service issues on social media?