Social Media Will Not Solve Customer Service Issues
People are constantly connected through social media. For years, brands have tried to join this cultural shift by using social platforms as another vehicle for customer service. But LivePerson research on the topic reveals that brands are ineffective in these spaces, as consumers prefer messaging to social media when they need to resolve an issue.
In August 2016, we conducted a consumer survey to provide a comprehensive and qualitative understanding of customer preferences in brand communication. Here are some of the most interesting findings from our research.
Social media is a last resort.
Across industries, social media remains an unpopular method of customer service, with only 8% of respondents electing it as their first choice. Even when focusing solely on the 18 – 35 millennial demographic — widely regarded as the most connected generation — the number skews only slightly higher, with 11% identifying social media as their top preference.
Twitter is investing time — and money — into messaging and bots for customer service. But what it fails to realize is that the platform isn’t considered a place to address customer service inquiries at all. Only 2% of millennials pick Twitter as their first choice for customer service. Surprisingly, 7% of millennials would prefer using Snapchat for these inquiries — beating Twitter in terms of favorability by 5%. Twitter doesn’t fare much better with boomers (ages 55 – 64) either: Just 5% prefer it to other channels.
When people turn to social media for customer service, 64% are reaching out because of a previously poor experience in another channel. Even then, 29% are just venting and don’t expect anything to come of it. Eventually, 13% of consumers posting on social media platforms will have their issues resolved in a private chat.
Messaging is king.
Messaging, on the other hand, is far ahead of social media in terms of consumer preference: 62% of respondents rank messaging as their first or second preferred method of communication. Looking specifically at millennials, when asked to rank various channels for customer service, 40% selected messaging as their #1 choice. For comparison, this is 20x the number of millennials who prefer using Twitter to reach a brand representative.
In an age of automation and constant technological advancement, companies need to let customer preference drive their strategies. According to our consumer data, understanding how people use various types of technology and channels of communication is the key to providing successful customer care.