It appears that customer service via Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) or Twitter may be the wave of the future.
A new study from social media research firm NM Incite indicates that nearly half (47%) of social media users in the United States today actively seek customer service through social media. Nearly a third of social media users (30%) now prefer to reach out to a company for customer service through a social channel rather than by phone.
The 18-to-24 year old age group was most likely (59%) to seek customer service through social media channels, perhaps not surprisingly. But even among social media users age 65 and up, nearly one in three (30%) have sought customer service through these channels. Slightly more than half (51%) of social media users seek customer service more than once a month.
NM Incite’s survey showed that, among social media users, consumers are most likely to ask a question or post a comment about a company’s product or service on Facebook, either on the company’s page (29%) or on the user’s own page (28%). A company’s blog (15%) was the next most common site to seek customer service, followed by Twitter.
Gadi BenMark of NM Incite said:
Today’s customers choose when and where they voice their questions, issues and complaints. They don’t care if a company is set up to answer customer questions on Facebook, or if it has an actual Twitter handle for customer service. The implications are enormous for brands that are not implementing effective social care. There is also great upside for those that understand that the lines between marketing and customer service are blurring, and take action to organize, operate, and manage performance in this new merged world.