social media

Is it just me or do you find it weird when you search for someone on social media and you can’t find them? The same goes for businesses. If you don’t offer your customers numerous ways to contact you, the likelihood is the customer’s opinion of you is going to go down. Even if you have a Twitter account for promotional aspects only, you’re missing out on a whole world of customer service you could offer.

But why do businesses need to use social media for customer service? We did a bit of our own research into why we like using social media to ask questions. Here’s what we found:

Would you use social media to contact a business?

A massive 61% said ‘yes’, with an additional 27% answering ‘occasionally’ and a teeny tiny 12% who gave the big thumbs down. So, let’s take this to mean that essentially 88% of people would use social media in this way. After all, “occasionally” is still a yes, no matter the frequency. Looking at this from a business perspective is obviously huge – even if you just had 10 customers, this means that 9 of them could contact you this way.

Why do you use social media for CS?

There are so many reasons we use social media to contact businesses, but speed and ease  are the most common. There’s nothing simpler than sending a tweet to Topshop asking where your parcel is rather than hanging around on call. Waiting.

More than half of our survey participants preferred social over traditional customer service methods choosing speed and easiness as the reason why.  So for a business, this means you should be ensuring your social accounts are not just available, but manned and easy to find.

How fast do you expect a response on social media?

We all know we want a response ASAP, but what do we still class as acceptable? . How fast is fast? In short, 80% of people expect a response within an hour, of which 40% want responses to happen in less than 30 minutes! Lesson to learn here – make sure the people on your social media accounts know what they’re talking about, that they know the procedures for customer service and providing high levels of customer experience, and make sure they at least set aside some time to respond to customers every hour, if it isn’t purely their job role already.

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Which social media channel do you use for customer service?

It won’t come as any surprise that the two social media giants, Facebook and Twitter, are also the two platforms heavily investing in the customer service potential side of things. Because, even from a cursory glance, that’s where the majority of people are.  So provided a company’s deployed their troops mainly to Facebook and Twitter you should be set for battle.

Other social channels can also help in different ways, it just depends what your business does. The above mentions of Facebook and Twitter are only there to emphasise just how big they are. For example, if you run a design company, you may be more interested in Instagram, or maybe even Youtube.

If, after all this, you’re still not convinced about why businesses should use social media for customer service, even Chris Moody, who runs Twitter’s Gnip (powerful data management) division, agrees there are several benefits for businesses running customer service through Twitter, such as the ability to work more easily and the lower cost to run the service. Twitter itself says 80% of all customer service requests come through the social media platform.

Now, to summarise what businesses should know before moving into the social media customer service world: Speed and ease are the key factors why anyone interacts with a business online, if you’re slow and hard to find, your customers aren’t going to be happy. Also make sure you’re at least on Facebook and Twitter, they’re the two companies where almost everyone gathers, not just the niches.

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About the Author: Elena Lockett works for the marketing department at FM Outsource, who provide outsourcing solutions for businesses of all sizes across customer services, digital marketing and IT development. Elena spends her free time running a fashion blog, presenting a weekly radio and attempting to go to the gym.


FM Outsource provides bespoke outsourcing solutions for businesses of all sizes across customer services, digital marketing, and IT development. Experts in digital communications, FM Outsource helps businesses respond to and engage with customers across email, Facebook, Instagram, SMS, Trustpilot, Twitter, voice and webchat. Our ethos is to offer a unique balance of 24/7/365 productivity and quality using in-house native-speaking multilingual staff delivering exceptional consumer experiences. Working with start-up businesses through to enterprise level clients, we offer experience and services across a range of verticals including catering, fashion, finance, logistics, sports, retail and utilities.

Contact us at, or call Jenny on (08708 610180).

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