Even though social media has been talked about and puzzled over for a fair few years, it seems the jury is still out on how marketers can best use sites like Facebook and Twitter to advance their brands and products. The imminent rise of F-commerce and the power of “liking” and “sharing” are undeniable, if still somewhat vague, and statistics are beginning to roll in that will guide us when it comes to determining social media strategies.
One clear frontrunner, as reported at length yesterday by Econsultancy, is the use of social media as a customer service tool. In addition to publishing an article on the bright future of social customer service, Econsultancy reported the results from a new survey conducted by telemarketing and outsourcing business Sitel. The survey found that from a pool of 1,000 adults ages 16 to 24, 15 percent prefer to interact with customer service available on social media over any other method, as compared to 8 percent of ages 25 to 34 and 3 percent of ages 35 to 44. The rising percentage of young consumers using social media to solve problems, search for information, and voice complaints is one that will have to be addressed as companies build new approaches to customer service.
While social media is a powerful tool in customer service, it is not the only element to be addressed during the rise of e-commerce. For instance, 57 percent of consumers say they’ll first search online to find help with problematic products, but when asked what companies could do to improve their customer service experience, 81 percent of consumers ages 55 to 64 (and 52 percent of consumers ages 16 to 24) answered that they could “make contact numbers easier to find.” In addition, 64 percent of consumers ages 55 to 64 reported they contact the product’s manufacturer or retailer directly when they have an issue with the product.
Retailers and marketers will need to be on their toes to meet the varied needs of consumers of all ages. Still, with the younger generation turning not just online but also to social media for both product information and feedback, a more nuanced understanding of social platforms will be necessary.
Read more about the survey at econsultancy.com.