By Gary Smith for Imaginet
The reason why customer service is so important in business may seem be fairly obvious – but the increase in the acceptance of social media as a factor in business success has placed a new and very different emphasis on customer service. A new term has also been created – social customer service or social customer care.
What do we mean by social customer care? People are increasingly getting used to the idea of contacting a company and asking questions via social media. As the Infographic below states, more than 33 percent of customers today are using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to contact and interact with companies.
One also has to take into account the latest social media demographics, which refer to the increasing number of older people making use of social media on a regular basis. As Barry Dalton states, while the principles of customer service still remain basically the same, there is a sea change in terms of how customer service is being perceived and implemented because of the proliferation of social media. ” Customer service is at a tipping point. Real change is needed. Real change is possible. Real change is being demanded. And social media is the catalyst for this change”. (Http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2013/08/customer-service-and-social-media.html)
Dalton goes on to make the following important statement.
… Social media is driving profound change in social consciousness, political debate, medicine, government oversight, and virtually every other aspect of human endeavour. The reasons why social media is so able to affect change differ in all these scenarios. But one thing they all have in common is this; the veil of secrecy has been obliterated. And information, accurate or not, now proliferates at the speed of light.
This is a telling insight about the way in which social media has changed transparency and interaction between business and client. it is a change from customer service as ” efficient reaction” to ” value-creating proactivity”. I will be focusing on this difference in future articles.