The following is a guest post from Aberdeen Group Vice President and Principal Analyst, Sumair Dutta. At the end of this post, you’ll find an invitation to participate in the Aberdeen Group’s Social Customer Service – Key Trends and Best Practices Survey. All participants will receive a copy of the summary report when it is published in October 2012, so this is a great opportunity to receive valuable insights on how businesses and organizations similar to yours are using social media for customer communication, service and support.
Much Happens in Social Media. Why No Customer Service?
During the recent GOP Convention, a significant amount of attention was paid to the speech delivered by Clint Eastwood in support of GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Most of the reaction was negative (or bemusement), especially in the social universe. Surprisingly, the most talked about response to Clint Eastwood’s comments was from President Obama himself, tweeting a witty picture of himself at work (see here).
President Obama’s tweet was actually the most retweeted dialog coming out of the entire GOP convention and the President’s team has been known to significantly leverage social channels to raise support for his campaign. Social media also served as a significant awareness platform for the President’s campaign in 2008. (Note: Also worth mentioning that President Obama also took to popular discussion site Reddit.com to answer questions regarding his personal and professional life. His unexpected online appearance caused a traffic surge that temporarily locked users out of the Reddit site. See here.)
The reach of the President over social channels goes to highlight the role that these channels can play for those leaders or organizations that are looking to connect to a wide audience of interested parties.
Social media tools offer organizations a unique path to engage with their customers and prospects, one that can replace, supplement, or go way beyond the engagement avenues currently available to organizations. Yet, most organizations use social tools solely for marketing purposes. In 2011 research on multi-channel support, only 23% of 180 organizations polled indicated having a social strategy in place for customer service. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of respondents indicated that social as a channel was owned by marketing. However, respondents did indicate that they expected to see a significant uptick in customer discussions around support on social channels and that 52% were either initiating investments in or increasing support for their social customer service initiatives.
There is a spectrum of social strategies deployed for support, from listen only, to listen and respond, to listen, respond, analyze and engage, and much more. The impact of these strategies can be extremely significant from a customer satisfaction, loyalty and profitability perspective, Aberdeen’s Service Management team is looking to dive deeper into the impact that social media (For research purposes, social media includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Forums, Discussion Boards, Communities etc.) is having on customer support via a new research survey. This survey analyzes:
- Key trends in the use of social media tools in customer support
- The benefits from and challenges to be considered while integrating social media into a customer support strategy
- Best practices in maximizing the impact of social media as a customer management and engagement tool.
If your organization is currently leveraging social tools in support, evaluating their use, or has yet to consider their use, we would welcome your participation in this survey. For spending the time to become a part of our research panel on this topic, Aberdeen will provide a copy of the summary report when published in early October 2012.
Please take the survey by clicking here.