Most companies rarely tap social media for customer service, study says

A recent study found that more than 80 percent of companies do less than a quarter of their customer service through social media. We look into why.

According to a recent survey from SAP and Social Media Today, a huge share of companies, 41.2 percent, use social media to answer five percent of their customer service issues or less. Not even a fifth of the companies surveyed—17.7 percent—said they use social media to address a quarter or more of their customer service issues.

Shel Holtz of Holtz Communications + Technology says the survey reflects reality pretty well.

“This study only reinforces what I’ve seen from several other studies that look at the same question,” he says.

So why don’t more companies turn to social media for customer service? Holtz and other experts say it’s because companies haven’t caught on to all the potential social media holds. Others say customers simply prefer other avenues.

A narrow view

Business leaders tend to think of social media as strictly a marketing channel, Holtz says, so they’re not pressuring customer service teams to jump onboard. At the same time, “customer service departments aren’t clamoring to change the traditional call-center approach to customer service,” he says.

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