SMEs embrace social media
An increasing number of customers are looking to engage with brands and businesses via social media, according to a new report.
Released last week, the 2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer indicated that one in five consumers have used social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in the last 12 months to obtain a customer service response.
The survey – which was conducted in the US, as well as ten other countries including Australia and the United Kingdom – found that half of the respondents backed out of an intended purchase in the past year due to a poor customer service experience.
According to executive vice-president of world service at American Express Jim Bush, a solid social media strategy that targets customer service is vital for businesses today.
"Consumers who have used social media for service in the last year are willing to pay a 21 per cent premium at companies that provide great service," he said on May 2.
"Ultimately, getting service right with these social media savvy consumers can help a business grow."
In Australia, 72 per cent of business owners have already adopted Facebook and Twitter campaigns – and the benefits are becoming clear.
More than half of small to medium enterprises have used social media to build relationships with customers and generate new leads, as well as market their products and services.
And the trend is set to continue, with up to 39 per cent of respondents indicating that more time and money will be spend on their social media strategy in the next year.
At present, one in four businesses spend just three hours or less on social media each week, manufacturing and whole traders the least likely industries to utilise the online tool.
Posted by Elise Ferrari