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Social Media Customer Service Declines

The latest NICE/BCG consumer experience report has found that among the last places consumers want to go for customer service is social media. Among Americans expectations are low, across the board.  The research behind the report focused on adults aged between 18 and 65 in the USA, UK, the Netherlands, France Australia and found that the number of consumers using social media to resolve customer service issues has dropped compared to two year ago. While daily, weekly and monthly use of social media channels doubled between 2011 and 2013, those same categories declined between 2013 and 2015, while the number of respondents who never use or are not offered social media based customer service rose from 58 per cent in 2013 to 65 per cent in 2015. 

Respondents who did not use social media cited a number of reasons why. It takes too long to address issues said 33 per cent, it has limited functionality reported 32 per cent, and it isn't feasible for complex tasks according to 30 per cent. Social media was the channel with the highest percentage of abandons in both 2013 and 2015, with the number rising from 32 per cent to 42 per cent over that period.

US consumers surveyed have lower expectations of customer service in general. In Australia and Europe respondents thought it essential that they would be automatically routed to the correct customer service agent along with their information without being transferred multiple times, and their service provider rep be aware of their past three to five interactions with the company to tailor service to their needs. American respondents, on the other hand,  said all of those actions would "exceed expectations". In total, Americans surveyed ranked only 15 out of 25 factors as essential, while other countries' respondents expected anywhere from 21 to all 25 attributes.

While American respondents don't seem to mind waiting for multiple call transfers or repeating their information, having issues resolved immediately was cited by other countries and all industries, genders and ages as the top factor in a perfect experience, valued by 51 per cent of respondents. Other important factors include reps knowing what consumers need and providing an immediate solution, forwarding information and actions from department to department, and knowing what consumers at each did through a self-service channel. 

Churn rates vary amongst different age groups with 78 per cent of baby boomers leaving a provider due to a customer service issue, only 54 per cent of millennials will do so. 

"This year's survey serves as further proof that customer service is becoming more complex and more critical for a company's success", said Tom Dziersk, president NICE Americas. "When an organisation can create a perfect experience, there are many dividends, and as the report's findings make clear, ample room for improvement creates many opportunities for businesses to set themselves apart. "

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