The proportion of UK consumers who have interacted with companies through social media has almost doubled in just 8 months, from 19% in August 2011 to 36% in April 2012, according to [pdf] survey results released in May 2012 by Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research. Brand interaction over social media is highest among 18-24-year-olds, at 49.5%, and declines alongside increasing age. Even so, almost one-third of 45-54-year-olds have made contact with a brand through social media, and more than one-quarter of those over 55 report having done so.
Data from the report indicates that most respondents are enthusiastic about the potential offered by social customer service. 40% of respondents believe that social media improves customer service, dwarfing the proportion who fear that social media will harm service (7%).
Marketers appear to also hold this optimism. According to a Sword Ciboodle survey released in May 2012, 91% of customer service practitioners believe that providing customer service over social channels is a good thing for their customers, and 89% think it is a good thing for their organization. In terms of the primary benefits experienced when using social channels, increased customer satisfaction topped the list, cited by 24% of the respondents, ahead of meeting customer expectations (14%).
About the Data: The Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research data is based on consumer polls conducted by OnePoll Research. There were 2 bursts of nationally representative online research (August 2011 and April 2012), each polling 2,000 UK adults.