London and New York (PRWEB) December 22, 2011
The results of research from Conversocial, tracking U.S. consumer expectations on social media was unveiled today, revealing among other findings that a majority, 50.7%, use social media to communicate with corporations. Moreover, 78% of respondents believe that social media platforms would either soon entirely replace other means of customer service altogether or become the dominant way for consumers to communicate with corporations.
Entitled, The Consequences of Ignoring Your Customers, A Survey of Consumer Expectations for Customer Service on Social Media Platforms, the research was commissioned by Conversocial and conducted by Assistant Professor of Communications Liel Leibovitz at New York University. Today’s study looks at consumers’ sentiments and expectations concerning interactions with companies on social media platforms. (It follows Conversocial research on Retail Outlets Ignoring Their Customers in October, which revealed that over 65% of genuine questions and comments were missed by the largest retail brands.)
The following are its key findings:
- Price of Neglecting Customers: If ignored by companies on social media sites, 45% said they’d feel angry, and 27.1% said they’d stop doing business with the offending company altogether.
- 88% Less Likely To Buy: If confronted with unanswered customer complaints on a company’s social media site, 88.3% of respondents said they’d be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to buy from that brand
- Low Level of Current Consumer Satisfaction with Companies’ Social Media: Nearly a third of respondents, or 32.4%, characterized their overall satisfaction with the way companies use social media sites to communicate with customers as either poor or very poor, while 59.6% expressed guarded optimism for future positive developments in the field and only 8% were thoroughly satisfied.
“The message to companies from their customers is now clear: if you want to speak to us in social media, you better be prepared for us to speak back”, said Josh March, CEO of Conversocial. “If your company is on Facebook or Twitter, be prepared to treat these social networks as serious customer service channels. If not, you risk losing not just your current customers communicating with you via posts and tweets, but the vast number of potential customers who now have a window to see how you respond to (or ignore) your customers in full public view.”
"There's a tremendous reservoir of customer goodwill that companies can tap from social media,” March cited a recent Facebook poll showing 33% of users go straight to a company’s Facebook page after seeing a friend’s recommendation on Facebook.
“While social media sites are a growing frontier of consumer-corporate interaction, most respondents reported inadequate response times, unanswered queries, and unmet expectations,” according to Assistant Professor of Communications at NYU, Liel Leibovitz, who led the survey. “Most respondents were also adamant that such behavior would have some or much effect on their future decision to do business with offending corporations.”
The research was conducted in the last 2 weeks of November. A total of 513 consumers were surveyed nationwide, with the average age of respondent being 38 years of age.
Headquartered in London,Conversocial is expanding into the American market and recently announced they have processed more than 35 million customer service interactions on social media, growing at a clip of 2.5 million per month. Companies and organizations such as Groupon, ITV, Tupperware and The University of Phoenix are using Conversocial's Software-as-a-Service to manage the flow of customer service enquiries and discussions on Facebook and Twitter.