Effective social care (being customer service through social media channels) fosters strong customer loyalty, finds NM Incite [download page] in a new report released October 2012. Among customers who have sought a social care response, 71% of those who experienced a quick and effective response say they are likely to recommend a brand or company, versus just 17% who had an effective but slow response. 33% would recommend a brand or company that offered a quick but ineffective response, and 19% would still recommend a brand or company, even without a social response.
Would those customers use social care again? 70% would after a quick and effective response, reveals details from NM Incite’s “State of Social Customer Service Report.” They seem more forgiving of an ineffective response than a slow one; 41% would use social care again after a quick but ineffective response, while 30% would use it again after an effective but slow response. 17% would try again, even after no response by a company.
Social care response times vary, and about two thirds of companies using social customer service claim to respond in four hours or less, and 26% within a day, according to October 2012 findings by SocialMediaToday, in cooperation with SAP and the Pivot Conference. Some inefficiencies that slow response times include finding the right answer (reported by 41% of respondents), waiting for guidance on how to answer (34%), finding the appropriate message to answer (27%), or that the current tool makes response difficult (7%). This data suggests a need for more training for representatives, or investment in social media monitoring tools and more user-friendly tools.
Facebook Is Customers’ First Choice
NM Incite found that customers prefer Facebook overwhelmingly among social care channels. 29% would use a company’s Facebook page to comment on or ask a question about a product or service, followed by their personal Facebook pages (28%); the company’s blog (15%); and Twitter, using a personal handle (14%) or a brand handle (13%).
Use of each channel declines sharply with the age of those customers. Generally, social media users between 18 and 34 are more likely to post on Facebook or Twitter (at about 35% and 25% on average) than those users 35 or older. The 65+ age group is also most likely to use Facebook, but at about 15% to 17% of users, is not very likely to use it at all. They are least likely to use a personal Twitter handle, at about 2%.
Women showed a slight preference over men for using a company’s Facebook page (31% vs. 26%) or their personal pages (31% vs. 25%). The genders were fairly even in Twitter use for social care, hovering between 13% and 15%. Men are more likely than women to use YouTube, be it a company or brand’s YouTube channel (14% of men vs. 10% of women) or their personal channels (12% vs. 9%).
About the Data: The NM Incite data is based on a survey of a representative group of 2,000 US social media users over the age of 18 using Nielsen’s online panel. The survey was conducted in July 2012 and the data is weighted to enable a representative comparison across age and gender.