Customer service is more than just being polite to your customers. It’s a crucial part of any business that affects everything from the bottom line to public perception. Yet less than a third of Canadians say they are very satisfied with their customer service experiences. Social media isn’t an exception: only 40% say they frequently see good customer service on social media.
The good news is that Twitter is connecting consumers and brands like never before. Several global brands have already used this connection to make a huge impact on Twitter, netting millions of followers. Brand interaction is especially fertile ground in Canada, where brands make up the top type of account Canadians engage with on Twitter. Canadians aren’t just passively scrolling through brand content on Twitter — they’re actively seeking it out.
Clearly, there’s a big opportunity to improve customer service through brand interactions. In fact, 78% of Canadians we surveyed said it’s important for a brand to have a strong social media presence. This presence also impacts future consumption behaviour, since 58% of Canadians on Twitter that we surveyed said they’re more likely to continue using a product or service if the brand is accessible via social channels.
Just what are the hallmarks of good (and bad) customer service for Canadians? Our research shows that good customer service is fast, easy, and personalized. Specifically, top indicators include quick responses, quick problem resolutions, and solutions that are easy to understand. Bad customer service is characterized by too many points of interaction, delayed responses, and difficulty locating the appropriate person to resolve the issue.
The streamlined 1:1 interactions made possible by social media offer a valuable tool for emphasizing customer service positives and de-emphasizing negatives. Twitter stands out among other platforms when it comes to letting brands have a two-way conversation with their customers. Sometimes these conversations are clever enough to go viral and score a huge amount of free publicity. But, the vast majority of Twitter’s brand interactions are about providing daily, real-time customer service in the channel that customers prefer.
Our research shows that just having a strong a presence on Twitter makes a brand seem more responsive and innovative. People agree that brands with a strong presence on Twitter are:
- Quicker at getting back to customers (71%)
- More responsive to their customers (75%)
- Care more about what their customers think (71%)
We’ve seen that faster responses to customer service questions significantly increase customers’ willingness to spend in the future. Many brands would love to invest in a 24/7/365 customer service team, but often this isn’t realistic or scalable to a brand’s infrastructure. Chatbots are an innovative solution to bridge the gap while still delivering the real-time, personalized experience Canadians want.
While less than half of Canadians in our study have used a chatbot to receive customer service and reported interest is low (33%), we’ve found this is because bots — and artificial intelligence in general — tend to get a bad rap.
Once consumers have personally interacted with a bot they see them as fast, innovative, and direct in addressing the key pillars of stellar customer service. After Canadians have seen a bot in action, 64% in our study were confident that bots can meet their needs. And, our research shows a significant shift in the perception that bots are easy to use (+62%).
When customers use bots, brand perceptions improve. For the travel category, for example, our research showed a significant increase across all metrics, including:
The brand is:
Quick at getting back to customers: +135%
A brand I would recommend to others: +61%
Canadians flock to Twitter to see what’s happening and engage with brands. Because brands are the top type of account that Canadians follow, Twitter offers a key opportunity to bring your customer service A-game. Whether you use a chatbot or not, embracing Twitter as a customer service tool is a great way to:
- Save your customers time and headaches with greater speed and accuracy
Get personal with your audience, at scale
Deliver experiences based on real-time data and signals
- Connect and keep them up to date with what’s happening
Interested in learning more? Meet with your Twitter client partner for tips and best practices to provide enhanced customer service. Whether it’s a discussion about how a bot can be implemented for your company or how to improve your response time to inquiries, Twitter can provide helpful advice and insights to improve your customer care.
Chatbots have already helped major brands achieve stellar customer service on Twitter. Samsung used chatbots to deliver personalized TV recommendations and ended up generating leads at one quarter of the typical cost. Brands like MTV, Wendy’s, and Patrón have used chatbots in creative ways to engage consumers and to increase both relevance and awareness.
This quantitative research was performed by Kantar on behalf of Twitter. More than 1,000 Canadian users were included in the study, which used a survey methodology, including a chatbot simulation. Perception lifts were calculated using pre- vs. post-simulation score comparisons.
Download the Customer service and bot research paper (PDF) to learn more.
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