Consumers using social media for customer service wield higher influence: Study

Social media has raised the bar for customer service. A recent American Express survey shows that customers who use social media channels for service generally wield a greater amount of influence. The survey was conducted in the U.S. and ten other countries, to explore consumer attitudes and preferences toward customer service.  Research was done via an online survey among a random sample of 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 18+.

Here are some insights from the study:

  • People who have used social media for customer service at least once in the last year are willing to spend substantially more (21%) with companies they believe provide great service – as compared to those who have not used social media for customer service (11% more).
  • People who receive great customer service via social media also share more about it, and tell an average of 42 people about their positive experience, compared to just 9 people for those who receive great customer service on non-social channels.
  • The converse is also true, those people who receive poor customer service via social media inform an average of 53 people, while non social media users tell 17 people.
  • 83 percent of social media users have not completed an intended purchase because of poor customer service, compared to just 49 percent of those not using social media

They survey also revealed the top 5 reasons why consumers use social media channels for customer care:

  • Seeking an actual response from a company about a service issue – 50%
  • Praising a company for a great service experience – 48%
  • Sharing information about their service experience with a wider audience – 47%
  • Venting frustration about a poor service experience – 46%
  • Asking other users how to have a better service experiences – 43%

Interesting to note - 60% of the respondents said that, in their opinion, companies have improved their response times through social media over the past year. Do you agree with this? What more do you think companies can do to be perceived better by their customers? Share your thoughts with us.