9 out of 10 global internet users are on social media. It seems that the internet is mostly used by people to surf social media.

But why is there such a large number of people on social media? Because social media is no longer a place that’s only used for interacting with others, now it’s used for many purposes such as marketing, e-commerce, recruiting, job searching, and even customer service.

If you run a business, then it’s vital for your business to be present on social media. Why?

As such a large proportion of people are present on social media, it is very likely that your customers are also present on social media and they might be using social platforms to engage with you and to register their issues and complaints. And not addressing their complaints can act as a double-edged sword pushing your customer away from you.

So, it can be crucial for you as a business to be present and provide customer service on social media platforms.

In this post, we will share 7 social media stats with you to prove that Social media is the new frontier of customer service.

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1. 60% of consumers use Twitter to complain to a brand or company.

When the Helplama team surveyed consumers of various ages throughout the US, we found that 60% of consumers already had the experience of using Twitter to register their complaints with a brand or company.

Contacting and engaging with a brand or company on social media platforms like Twitter is way more convenient than dialing a company’s phone support numbers and writing emails. That’s why 6 out of 10 consumers chose Twitter to convey their problems with a brand or company.

Another thing that a business should consider is that social media is an open network, and failing to reply to them won’t only lead to lost customers but can also ruin your image in the eyes of other customers.

While a majority of consumers use social media to complain about a brand or company, a large proportion of consumers also expect the company (they complained about) to read and address their complaints on social media.

2. 69% of consumers expect the company to read their complaints on Twitter.

Out of the people who complained about a brand or company on Twitter, 69% expected the brand or the company to read their tweet, which makes social media more vital as a customer support channel.

The main thing to note is that when we asked consumers this – “Has anyone from the company contacted you about your complaint as a result of your tweet?”, 60% of consumers said yes

6 out of 10 consumers received a response from the brands they complained about on Twitter.

This means a good majority of companies are not only using social media for marketing their products, but they also recognize the importance of social platforms for providing customer service and are striving to provide a superior consumer support experience on social channels.

This makes it more important for a business to focus on social media as a primary channel to provide customer service. If you’re not engaging with your customers on social media, then chances are your customers will shift to your competitors who actively engage with them on social media.

While 7 out of 10 consumers expect the company to be present on social media, a large majority of consumers also like hearing from the company (they complained about) as a response to their complaints.

3. 82% of consumers prefer whenever a brand engages with them on social media.

Consumers want a human from a brand to engage with them and they like it when the brand does.

Our Twitter consumer engagement survey recorded high consumer satisfaction levels, a large number of consumers liked hearing from a company as a response to their complaint on Twitter.

When our team asked consumers about how they feel when a company contacted them as a response to their complaint tweet, a large majority – 82% of consumers said, “I loved it or liked it.”

82% of consumers like or love it when the company contacts them as a response to their complaints on Twitter.

This means addressing customer issues on social media results in high customer satisfaction levels which is very beneficial for business.

High consumer satisfaction levels equal:

  • High customer retention
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Reduced customer churn
  • Increased revenue
  • Positive publicity
  • Improved Brand Image

Apart from these benefits, providing customer service and responding to customers on social media can also lead to increased customer’s willingness to pay more.

4. Customers that receive a response from brands on Twitter are willing to spend up to 20% more and are 30% more likely to recommend the brand.

Consumers like to hear from companies as a response to their tweets and if brands respond to customers’ tweets and address their complaints on Twitter, customers are likely to pay you more for their product or service.

According to a study, consumers’ willingness to pay can increase up to 20% if they receive a response from the brand or the company they tweeted about. Not only this, consumers are 30% more likely to recommend the brand they received a response from.

Furthermore, the study suggests that brands shouldn’t be afraid of answering negative tweets. Responding to negative tweets can be more favorable compared to positive tweets. Conversations that start with negative feedback or complaint result in higher brand favorability and 3X higher willingness to pay for products and services compared to conversations with positive feedback.

5. Customers reach out to brands across an average of eleven social media channels.

It’s not enough just to be present on major social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, customers use an average of eleven social media channels to interact with brands. And a business should be present on every social media platform where its customers are hanging out. Failing to do so can prevent a brand from connecting with your customers and can also result in lost customers.

Consumers also want the brands to be active on social platforms and interact with them. According to Sproutsocial, 9 out 10 people think that social media can connect people and 78% of them want the brands to use social media to build a community and bring them together.

That’s why a brand needs to be present on multiple social media platforms. But it can be overwhelming for a brand to manage multiple social media accounts and respond to customers in real-time on all channels. But there’s no need to worry if you’re equipped with the right tools. Many software like Buffer and Zapier are specially designed for brands to manage their social media channels and provide superior customer service.

6. 54% of customers prefer social messaging channels for customer care over the phone or email.

The time is long gone when the phone was the most-used channel to contact a company’s customer support. Now consumers get frustrated if they have to wait too long to connect with a customer service representative over the phone.

When we surveyed consumers of different age groups throughout the US to know their worst customer service experiences, 60% of consumers said that they ended a business relationship with a company because they had to wait too long to connect with a customer representative over the phone.

Furthermore, 7 out of 10 consumers cited a ‘bad phone automated self-service IVR system’ as a cause of frustration and end of the business relationship with the company they contacted. They got stuck in the phone IVR system and found it difficult to connect with a customer support representative.

On the other hand, consumers find social media as a faster, convenient, and less frustrating customer support channel compared to phone and email.

Not only faster and less frustrating, but social media is also a cost-effective channel of communication.

7. It costs 6x more to solve a customer issue through the phone than on social media.

It costs only $1 on average to solve a customer’s query or issue on social media which is 6X less than what it costs to provide customer service over the phone.

To establish in-house phone support, a business needs to perform many tasks like setting up an IVR system, training representatives, registering for a toll-free number, etc.

On the other hand, you just need to create free social accounts and a representative to manage those accounts. Social media management software like Buffer and Zapier make it easier to manage multiple social accounts.

But if you run a small startup, you may find it costly to hire and train a customer service representative. In such a scenario, you should prefer outsourcing your social media channel. Along with reducing costs, a good customer service outsourcing partner can also help you build good relationships with your customers.

Bottom Line

The above stats indicate that social media is undoubtedly a vital channel for providing customer support.

A good majority of people use social media to engage with brands they like and also expect the brands to interact with them. They also find it a way more convenient and effortless channel of communication compared to phone or email.

Another reason why brands should not underrate social media is that it’s an open network, that’s why brands try to give a prompt response to their customers on social media networks. On the other hand, the communication over the phone and email remains private between the customer and company. A late or no response on social media can have a much worse effect on a company’s image compared to phone or email.

So, social media as a customer support channel is more important than phone, email, or live chat and a business should not turn its back from providing customer service on social networks.