Social media is clocking up more internet hours and being used for more purposes than ever before. It’s become an outlet for buying, boasting, befriending and blasting everything and anything, and the result is a growing expectation for businesses everywhere to be there.
According to a recent study out of the US, the total time spent on social media across PCs and mobile devices increased 37% to 121 billion minutes in July 2012, compared to 88 billion in July 2011.
In fact it’s increased so much that of consumers total time online using PC’s, 20% is now spent on social networks. For mobile devices this climbs to a whopping 30%.
And with the massive migration from the coffee shop to the computer screen, customer service has gone social too.
A recently released report has identified that 47% of social media users “actively seek” customer service through social platforms, with 30% of users preferring this method to traditional phone calls.
And they’re not willing to wait for that service either, as 55% of users expect a same day response to an online complaint.
While this sounds like a hairy area to get involved in, it should be seen as an opportunity and brand enhancer rather than a defensive play for your business.
You see, if a customer has a crack at you on Facebook, by handling the complaint well you can turn a disgruntled individual into a loyal patron. And, you guessed it, they’ll tell their Friends about it too.
The same research into social media users found that 71% of users who had a positive customer service experience online recommend the brand. And with 64% of people saying that social networks influence their buying decisions, that’s invaluable endorsement.
Plus, those customers who engage with businesses on social media say they spend 20% to 40% more with those companies than others they don’t Like so much.
On the flip side, a negative customer service experience can be costly with 800 customers out of 1000 saying they didn’t make a purchase as a result of poor customer service.
So if you haven’t already, start getting serious about social. Apart from providing a valuable market research tool, it’s a proven sales creator too.
How's your social strategy tracking? Come tell us on the KBB Facebook Forum now!