The following excerpt taken from the recent Genesys report points out that great opportunities for big brands lie in their ability to engage with users and stop being “social media shy”.
“Companies don’t understand that social media is not just a marketing vehicle. They aren’t realizing that there needs to be a brand execution discussion. Of the actionable tweets and Facebook posts a company gets, only about 20% relate the marketing – the rest are about service. Sales and marketing is the promise – but service is the delivery. Companies need to start integrating the service and marketing aspects of social media.” 90% of the companies Genesys studied didn’t provide an email address in their contact pages. Instead, about 83% of them had a contact form – something they note consumers see as a “black hole” and tend to avoid using. Genesys thinks that given the ubiquity of email, companies need to do better at providing email addresses to their customers. On the whole, the research demonstrates that the largest consumer-‐facing companies are still struggling to adapt to the ways that the Internet is providing them to reach out and engage with their customers. Although many companies have readily embraced social media for marketing, the customer service piece is coming much more slowly. “We believe social media is going to change the way companies provide customer service,” said Randy Brasche, Director of Marketing and Media at Genesys. “Our observations showed that some companies are making strides in this area, but in the Fortune 500 as a whole, it just hasn’t made that much of an impact.
Good examples of using social media for customer service include Dell, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Freshbooks, Zappos, Whole Foods, Sephora, and others. Many models exist, and each brand has put its own stamp on how they make customer service work online for them and their clients. It’s worth noting that in each of these cases the companies made an honest effort to engage with its client base, took risks, solved problems and learned along the way. In the end, they were able to build their online brand in ways they couldn’t have done without making customer service a priority.