Content Marketing Blog

Social media a customer service channel for 70% of Australian organisations

Employing the use of social media is the norm for many Australian businesses according to a new report from Fifth Quadrant, with more than two-thirds (70 per cent) of Australian organisations using it as a channel to provide customer service.

The report, Emerging Consumer Channels: Social Media, Web Chat and Smartphone Apps, "explore[s] the evolution of social media, web chat and smartphone apps as customer service channels".

While businesses demonstrated that they were keen to engage in customer service through social media, consumers were proving slower to adopt the idea, with just under one-third (31 per cent) using the channel for a customer service interaction within the past three months.

Fifth Quadrant said that the disconnect between business expectations and consumer use may be occurring because the two groups are looking for each other in "all the wrong places".

Facebook is the Australian consumers' top choice for customer service engagement, followed by online communities and forums, and YouTube.

The least popular networks were Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs, with seven in ten consumers stating they 'rarely' or 'never' turn to them for customer service purposes.

However, Twitter was the leading network among businesses, with it used by more than three-quarters of organisations, with company blogs, websites and online communities coming in second place.

One in three consumers said they use social media 'often' when seeking customer service, with 33 per cent planning to increase their use of social media for customer service within the next 12 months.

"Simply creating a new service channel then standing back and waiting for the customers to come won't work," said Fifth Quadrant head of research Chris Kirby.

"If organisations want to offer customer service through social media, they need to go to the networks that their customers use. They also need to treat social networks as they would any other communications channel. This means developing realistic long term resourcing plans."

Posted by April Revake.