We have often talked about the opportunities for brands to use social media to enhance their customer service, but when does the data deluge actually make it a challenge to keep up with all this information?
This excellent blog post on eConsultancy gives some good stats about how brands are going social and utilising the omni-channel to interact with customers.
The blog describes how:
“Next (the UK clothing retailer) answers 93% of their Facebook customers against an industry average of 55%. While Vodafone manages to respond 77% of the time and thus comes out top on Twitter against a global benchmark of just 32%.”
But despite these figures sounding quite positive, the average response rate is just 41% – under half of all online customer service queries are actually being answered by brands.
The analyst firm Gartner suggests that managers planning for the future should consider that 80% of future revenue will probably come from only 20% of your existing customers. In this kind of scenario it would seem that investing deeply in customer service and preserving a great percentage of your existing client base and regular, repeat customers would be more valuable than spending on marketing to acquire new customers.
I’m not suggesting that marketing does not still have a value – every company needs to promote what they do so they control their brand and actively seek new customers, but when executives can see that there is a cash value attached to hanging on to customers then it should follow that customer service becomes much more important than just a support activity.
Photo by John Walker licensed under Creative Commons