It is no secret that consumers wish to have the option of interacting with brands through social media. Not only do people flock to social media to keep up with the latest world and local news, follow actors, comedians, and shows, keep up with apt commentary, and keep in touch with their family and friends, they know their favorite businesses will likely have a strong presence on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The trend of seeking out businesses is not simply part of the modern young generation. Although research from Accent Marketing has found that a bulk of Millenials prefer to engage with other customers through social media about products they have bought or brands they prefer, it also found that more than half of the Baby Boomer generation also enjoyed conversing with the public about consumer-related interests. In the face of this knowledge, businesses may do well to create presence in the world of social media.
Contact centers, too, are affected by this growing trend. Fourth Source has noted the trend goes even deeper than a simple desire to converse through social media. Consumers want to choose the persons with whom they speak, and call centers are responding with "social routing."
With social routing, consumers can see the credentials of available contact center representatives so they can make informed choices about how to get useful information. If a customer wants to speak to someone specific, he can see, through a business-provided interface, the expertise representatives carry, for example, concerning product returns or product usage.
Businesses as a whole and their contact center counterparts are making strides to cater to consumers because, as past data has shown, not everyone is satisfied. According to customer service leader Conversocial, a study it conducted in 2012 showed that more than half of consumers were dissatisfied with their experiences when conversing with brands through social media.
In some cases, consumers want quick turnaround times, such that many expect businesses to respond to social media-based queries within 10 minutes. Furthermore, survey respondents indicated they would be less willing to purchase products from companies who ignored their complaints entirely. Conversocial CEO Joshua March summed it up best.
"Bottom line," Joshua March said, "while traditionally consumers are rarely satisfied completely with customer service, fast and efficient social customer service can quickly change the old paradigm and create a viral effect of consumers actually praising rather than vilifying companies."