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Gartner Predicts Social Media Will Be a Support Tool Among 40 Percent of the Top 1,000 Companies

By on May 18, 2011 1 Comment

By now, most companies have gotten the memo about brand management via social media. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, you know the drill. As corporate social media strategy matures, what’s on the horizon?

It’s customer service.

“In 2010, only 5 percent of organizations took advantage of social/collaborative customer action to improve service processes; however, customer demand and heightened business awareness is making this a top issue among customer service managers,” says Gartner’s research VP Drew Kraus. “At current trajectories, within five years we expect that community peer-to-peer support projects will supplement or replace Tier 1 contact center support in more than 40 percent of top 1,000 companies with a contact center.”

The report notes that companies are being pushed along this path by clever customers, who find that communicating their customer service needs on Twitter often brings a faster and more satisfactory response than dialing up a 1-800 number.

Gartner estimates that in the next two years, 30 percent of leading companies will extend the goals of their online community activities to customer service and social CRM.

“More and more companies are moving towards using social media as a customer service platform because it provides one more way for them to connect with their communities,” says Stacey Acevero, social media community manager at PRWeb. “In addition to improving their services, it gives them an extra platform to share information and obtain new clients through leads. I believe customer service through social media will endure because the world is increasingly online…we’re accessing social networks at a rapid rate and because we are so busy and on the go, maybe we don’t have the time to pick up the phone and sit on hold for 15 minutes while we wait for customer service—we’d rather send a tweet and get service on our own time.”

One indication that enterprise companies are already adopting Social CRM came with Saleforce.com’s recent announcement that the newest version of its service cloud platform will offer social media integration capabilities.

“Leveraging built-in social analytics, agents will be able to prioritize interactions across any channel and tailor support strategies to meet changing sentiments on the social web,” Salesforce said in a statement. So is social the future of customer service not just for startups and tech companies, but also for the enterprise?

“The simple answer is social networks like Facebook and Twitter are becoming mainstream and consumers are increasingly spending more time on them. Brands must use these channels to answer customers’ questions, issues and problems – increasingly, consumers expect it,” says Reggie Bradford, CEO of social media publishing software company Vitrue. “We’ve always believed social and CRM should be closely intertwined.

Social networks are incredibly efficient and effective customer relations tools. The instantaneous and openness of social makes it a really great CRM channel. Consumers are on social networks and expect brands to communicate with them where they are spending their time.

Read more about how your company can offer multi-channel support here and about how your company can build a support strategy using Twitter here
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Republished with author's permission from original post.

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One Response to Gartner Predicts Social Media Will Be a Support Tool Among 40 Percent of the Top 1,000 Companies

  1. elias shams May 20, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    It's no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it's time for such a hot space to enter into a new category. There is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the enterprise about their online connections.

    A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies

    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and others have been doing a decent job of providing additional marketing exposure and even in some cases, additional revenue. However, as more and more social networking sites pop up, how do you manage your brand across all these channels? Maybe more importantly, which one of these sites should you select as the one that will help you best reach your target audience? The proliferation of the social media avenues is becoming overwhelming.

    This glut of information reminds me of the early 90's when WWW was adopted broadly by the general public. Every company rushed to have a presence, to the point it became literally impossible to find the right information on the Web. That's when a better generation of search engines – at first the Yahoo! and then Google – entered the market and helped us find the most relevant information by just typing simple keywords in their search box. If you had asked before Google launched, if there was a need for another search engine – most would have said no, we already have those….

    Then came Web 1.0 & 2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, myspace, Facebook, Twitter and countless others have turned everyday people into content producers, influencers and experts. We basically tripled down on the information overload How do you know which channels to select for deploying your social media strategy? How do you know which one is the right channel to let your fans and followers to find you, your products, and services? Most importantly, who is Joe Smith that is recommending that person, that company, that product?

    I hope my awesomize.me can accomplish such a mission. The site is not another social networking platform. Yet the portal to all your existing social media channels. The platform helps you, your fans, your potential clients to make an intelligent decision as to which company to connect to or follow via which social media channels and why? It's free!

    Elias
    CEO & Founder
    http://awesomize.me

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