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Consumers prefer email to social media to contact customer service

At a time when more businesses view the use of social network sites as an opportunity to create a relationship with customers and to improve customer service, a study from customer service technology consultancy Portal has found that social media is not the favoured tool for users to interact with brands.

The survey reveals that more than half of the 500 UK consumers polled cited e-mail as the best channel to communicate with brands, while 19% preferred using the telephone. In fact, social media was ranked as the top choice for just 2% of consumers, the Information Age website reported.

Respondents were asked to list their favourite way of communicating with brands at different time periods – two years ago, a year ago and at present. E-mail topped the chart in 2010, but its dominance increased even further in 2011.

Shamus Kelly, CEO of Portal, said that the findings were “startling”. He explained that consumers may not be using social media because it is difficult to make a complaint in a short post, while this is easier to achieve over the phone or in an e-mail. Consumers rather see Facebook and Twitter as a last resort for drastic measures, where they can publicly voice their dissatisfaction with the service they have received.

The results were similar for social media amongst businesses, too. The same question was asked to 503 UK businesses, 42% of which claimed that they preferred face-to-face communication with customers. About one in three selected e-mails, while social media was chosen by only 3%. Surprisingly, more than four in five businesses said that they did not monitor the reputation of their organisation on social sites.

Source: M2 Bespoke News.


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