Customer service channels are evolving, but 89% of consumers believe it’s important to be able to communicate with brands on any channel and still receive the same quality and efficiency of response, per results from a LiveOps study conducted by Harris Interactive. That means that brands need to step up their social customer service efforts, particularly when it comes to speed of response: previous research has shown a big gap in response times between phone calls and social media.
Indeed, respondents to the LiveOps study indicate that they place a premium on speed: 90% said they value the ability to communicate with a live person on any channel, whether it be voice, email, chat, SMS or social. What’s more, 85% using phone and live online chat expect responses within the hour. Recent figures indicate that such a speed of response isn’t yet being achieved on social channels such as Twitter or Facebook.
That might be why 61% of social media users responding to the LiveOps study feel that brands do not effectively communicate with them in those channels. That problem is brought more into focus when considering that 34% of respondents said they’re most likely to post a complaint or criticism about a brand on social media, and half of Gen X (and 71% of Gen Y) respondents have used social and mobile channels to communicate with a brand recently. Additionally, 85% believe that the way in which a brand handles issues on its website or social channels is a good indicator of their customer satisfaction and the quality of their support.
There is another way to positively impact customer experience, though. The study also reports that 92% of consumers believe that a customer service agent’s perceived “happiness” has an impact on their customer experience with the brand, and that two-thirds agree that their experience with a brand’s customer service agents has a major impact on their impression of the brand overall.
About the Data: The research commissioned by LiveOps with Harris Interactive and Dr. Natalie Petouhoff was conducted over a span of four months. With Harris Interactive, 1,255 consumer respondents aged 18 years or older were surveyed.