Australian businesses not on same social plain as consumers: report

Australian businesses and their consumers are on different communication plains when it comes to customer service, according to a new report from Fifth Quadrant.

The Emerging Consumer Channels: Social Media, Web Chat and Smartphone Apps study, which polled more than 400 consumers and 53 business executives nationally, found 31 of consumers use social media channels for customer service interaction. This is despite more than 70 per cent of Australian organisations now using social media as a customer service channel.

Facebook proved the number one choice for consumers engaging through social media, followed by online forums and YouTube. More than 70 per cent of consumers said they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ turn to Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs for customer service purposes.

In contrast, 75 per cent of businesses rating Twitter as their preferred customer service channel. Thirty-three per cent of consumers said they plan to increase their use of social media for customer service in the next 12 months. Generation Y accounted for 46 per cent of all social media customer service queries in the last three months.

“Simply creating a new service channel then standing back and waiting for the customers to come won't work. If organisations want to offer customer service through social media, they need to go to the networks that their customers use,” Fifth Quadrant head of research, Chris Kirby, said. “They also need to treat social networks as they would any other communications channel. This means developing realistic long-term resourcing plans.”

The report also found Web chat, not social media or smartphone apps, is the most used medium for customer service queries. According to Kirby, Web chat is perceived to have the highest suitability for general enquiries, technical issues, purchase or sales related questions, and complaints or service issues.

Almost a quarter of Australian organisations offer Web chat today but although the technology has been broadly available for some time, it is only within the last one or two years that the greatest number of implementations (40 per cent) has occurred.

The Fifth Quadrant report noted long-term resourcing of social media channels is likely to become a challenge for many organisations. Just under half of organisations are confident in their capability to scale up to support social media and two in five to support smartphone apps.

Three in five organisations however are confident in their capability to scale up to support changes in demand for customer service via Web chat. Kirby said a reason for this difference could be the way each of the channels are managed.

“Responsibility for managing and resourcing Web chat lies with the call or contact centre – a department well used to budgeting, planning for, and responding to fluctuating consumer communications,” he said. “In contrast, social media and smartphones are typically managed by marketing and insight, or IT.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Is your customer experience program suffering bright shiny object syndrome?

You may have heard of ‘bright shiny object syndrome’. The term is used to describe new initiatives undertaken by organisations that either lack a strategic approach, or suffer from a failure to effectively implement.

Leveraging technology to stand out in the sea of sameness

The technology I'm talking about here is data and marketing automation. Current digital marketing methodology, much as it is practiced at Bluewolf, dictates the need for a strategy that does four things: Finds the right audience, uses the right channel, delivers the right content, and does all of that at the right time.

Eric Berridge

CEO and co-founder of Bluewolf, an IBM Company

Lead Management is very important part of the process. For anyone running Facebook Lead Ads I would recommend using this service.Get your...

Dirk Lo

How this fintech startup is improving content marketing and lead generation

Read more

I am agreeing with Mr. Tyron Hayes that a measured test-and-learn approach could be missing opportunities to not only better engage custo...

rush essay reviews

CMO interview: How Curtin University’s marketing chief is using test and learn to cope with complexity

Read more

Excellent!

Dr Sadasivan,US

Shakespeare shows data and creativity aren’t Montagues and Capulets

Read more

Great article! Agreed with all... Matthew Lerner, Deeps De Silva... When a company has a great product that solves customers needs, a gre...

James Tyler

Why marketers are embracing growth hacking techniques

Read more

Very good article, Social media analytics helps in problem identification. They can serve as an early warning system for negative custome...

BizVinu

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in