Editor's Note: Josh Wardini is a community manager for Websitebuilder, where a version of this article first appeared. He joins us today to discuss the way that social media is transforming customer support with a simple infographic that explains it all.
Social media has quickly become a worldwide phenomenon reaching every corner of the international free market economy. By harnessing social media, brands big and small have managed to reach more customers from a vast array of backgrounds, countries and regions than ever before.
One of the biggest changes ushered in with widespread adoption of social networks is a gap in the way that customers interact with brands. In conventional customer care, businesses relied mainly on call centers and a small army of representatives to handle inquiries over the phone.
In the still-developing online economy, formal storefronts do not exist; nevertheless, customers looking to make a purchase continue to require customer care.
In response to this need, many of the world’s largest brands have recognized that social media is the most effective way to interact with and support customers. In the future, more will adopt this strategy until it becomes the industry standard for customer support.
In the following infographic, we summarize statistics on social media use and customer support preferences to help you make the best decisions for your brand.
Here is a four point summary:
1. Social Media Adoption
Social media is one of the fastest growing forms of technology in the past 30 years. Its adoption rates far surpass the adoption rates of conventional media forms, and most other new technologies. Seven in ten Americans use social media daily, and in the last 10 years saturation has gone from 5% in 2005 to 69% in 2016.
With so many users and potential customers on social media, brands have a growing and potentially unlimited reach.
2. Customer Preferences
90% of users have communicated with a brand on social media. In studies, 34.5% of respondents expressed a strong preference for this form of customer care. At 24.7%, website and live chat came in second, while email cam in third at 19.4%. Preference for conventional telephone support has dropped to less than 16.1%, showing the public attitudes have radically transformed.
Brands hoping to reach clients where they're at should listen and respond accordingly.
3. Software & Innovation
With software companies now creating products to help businesses better interact with their clients, the innovation is finally catching up to demand. Social business software is expected to be a $37 billion industry by 2017. These new products will continue to help streamline the online customer care process, and bring down support tickets as frequently asked questions are handled with machine intelligence and databases.
4. Decreased Cost
On average, it costs $1 to solve a customer issue on social media, while conventional call center interactions cost 6 times as much. Furthermore, social media agents have proven to be 167% more efficient, which marks significant savings for a brand while increasing the overall effectiveness of their customer service program.
Learn more about the growing predominance of social media support with the infographic below. Feel free to save for future reference, or pass it along to your colleagues!
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