Phone, email win out over social media
For some consumers, social media and other online channels have become key to communicating with brands for customer service—and many brands have made it a priority to be responsive to their customers on the same channels those customers prefer.
But while consumers in Great Britain do sometimes use various online channels for customer service, they prefer traditional communications. September 2012 research from contact center solutions provider Sitel and TNS Omnibus found that about a quarter of web users in Great Britain had used online forums or chat rooms for customer service, and nearly as many had watched online videos. But Twitter (4%) and question-oriented websites like Quora or Yahoo! Answers (12%) were much less popular.
When respondents were asked about their preferred communications method, social media performed even worse—just 3% of web users wanted to use Facebook or Twitter to handle their customer service questions, including a still-low 5% of 16- to 24-year-olds. Phone won out among all age groups over 25, and overall, two-thirds of web users said they preferred to get help with products by phone.
Email was nearly as popular, at 53%, and came in far ahead of other online sources of help. Among the youngest web users surveyed, email was also slightly more popular than the phone as a method for customer service communications.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Proximity Mobile Payments Set to Explode in US” and “Tablet Ads Deliver Results, but Barriers Remain.”