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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

That’s great! While 95% of customer value high-quality support over speed, delivering both is vital in this competitive age. Integrating ...

Akansh M

Foxtel debuts in-app messaging chat to improve customer service

Read more

Thanks for the post

Ashirwad Towers

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

Like we have been growing in technology since the first industrial revolution and never stopping but when it comes to businesses around t...

Bhooshan Shetty

Predicting the Future: Marketing science or marketing myth?

Read more

Was really informative. Customer retention is very important for companies as retaining customers are simpler compared to making new ones...

Bhooshan Shetty

Gartner survey: CMO spending hit by COVID-19

Read more

Couldn't agree more!The way AI and machine learning as evolved over these years, it has completely changed the look of marketing and cust...

Bhooshan Shetty

Marketing 2030 and the rise of the machines

Read more

Blog Posts

Life beyond the cookie: 5 steps to mapping the future of marketing measurement

​There’s no denying there’s been a whirlwind of response to the imminent demise of the third-party cookie from all parts of the industry. But as we’ve collectively come to better understand the implications, it’s clear this change is giving the digital advertising industry the opportunity to re-think digital marketing to support core industry use cases, while balancing consumer privacy.

Natalie Stanbury

Director of research, IAB Australia

Ensuring post-crisis success

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed brands’ CX shortcomings and a lack of customer understanding. Given ongoing disruption, customer needs, wants and expectations are continually changing, also causing customers to behave in different ways. Just look at hoarding toilet paper, staple and canned food, medicinal and cleaning products.

Riccardo Pasto

senior analyst, Forrester

A few behavioural economics lesson to get your brand on top of the travel list

Understanding the core principles of Behavioural Economics will give players in the travel industry a major competitive advantage when restrictions lift and travellers begin to book again. And there are a few insights in here for the rest of the marketing community, too.

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in