Social media rejected for customer service - Business Works
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Social media rejected for customer service

Shamus Kelly, CEO, Portal Recent research has shown that despite the hype around social media, consumers much prefer more traditional methods of communication, such as telephone and email, when it comes to customer service queries.

The research, commissioned for the 'British business – at your service?' whitepaper by Portal, revealed that social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook are, in fact, the least favoured method of communicating with a business regarding customer service for a third (31%) of Brits. Just 2% claimed that the new median is their preferred method, while email and telephone enquiries were far more popular, with 52% and 19% of respondents respectively stating that they are their favoured channels.

Shamus Kelly, CEO of Portal, said "Our research revealed some startling statistics. We suspect that social media platforms aren’t taking off as favoured customer service channels because more often than not, complaints are too complex to explain in a short post."

"Our experience is that consumers resort to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as a last resort, using them as platforms to publically condemn a brand following a frustrating experience, rather than a first port of call. There are of course customers at the other end of the spectrum that use social media to openly praise companies as well, but the point is that these consumers are not attempting to solve customer service queries over the medium."

With 82% of firms in the UK admitting that they do not actively monitor their brand’s reputation on social media sites, it seems that consumer sentiment on the subject also mirrors British businesses’ approach to social media.

For almost half (42%) of businesses, face to face interactions are preferred for solving customer service queries, while a third (32%) ideally solve problems over email. This is in stark contrast to social media, with just 3% of businesses stating that the medium is their preferred platform for customer service interactions.

The whitepaper also revealed that poor customer service is contributing to a £4.35 billion loss to UK businesses due to customer 'churn', with over half (52%) of British consumers admitting that they have sought an alternative supplier at least once as a direct result of a poor customer service experience.

The whitepaper is available to download here: 'British business – at your service'. More information about Portal can be found here:

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