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The 2011 Social Customer Engagement Index – Results, Analysis and Perspectives

Last September TSC released the results of the inaugural Social Customer Engagement Index survey, performed in June 2010.  The survey was done in partnership with the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP), and focused on how successful the professionals in our combined communities view their employer’s efforts to engage customers via social channels – from a customer service perspective.

Generally speaking, survey respondents who reported seeing positive impact from social engagement had been involved longer, had tighter integration with traditional support, enjoyed more management support, and involved more service professionals in social interactions with customers. 

In order to see what trends may be developing - with respect to identifying pathways to successfully utilizing social tools and strategies to improve customer service – we asked TSC community members to take a follow-up survey in December 2010.  You can download your free copy (registration required) of the 2011 Social Customer Engagement Index- Results, Analysis and Perspectives by clicking on this link.   

This time around in addition to SOCAP, we were excited to have members of The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) participate in the survey, along with our TSC community members.  And even though we asked people to take the survey during the heart of the holiday season, we were very happy to have 143 people participate – more than the 118 people that took the June 2010 survey.

As you will see when you go through the report, there were some things are reinforced, while others have shifted rather dramatically.  Some of this is due to more marketing focused professionals participating in December.  But many things are consistent with the impact “social” is having in all aspects of life.  For example, as more people interact on social channels in general, survey respondents report a higher percentage of customer service interactions are taking place at their companies.  In June, 72% of respondents said less than 5% of customer interactions happened over social channels.  In December that number decreased dramatically to 57% - accounting for a 21% drop in six months time.

Also, in six months time Facebook and Twitter have become even more important to customer service engagement, which probably isn’t a huge surprise.  But depending on the size of the business, one is more dominant than the other – much more so in December than in June.

In addition to asking many of the same questions, we also included questions on how social media monitoring and mobile devices were impacting social interactions with customers.  There are many interesting findings to dig into here, but the main trend is those using some kind of monitoring tool are more likely to see positive results from “social support” initiatives than those not using them.  Even using free Google Alerts (the second most cited monitoring tool behind Radian6) as a monitoring tool proved to have significant positive impact on social service success.

While mobile service is not offered by the majority of companies respondents work at (27.8%), almost two-thirds say their companies are planning to allow customers to engage over mobile devices in the next 12 months.  As you will see, there are a number of service functions mobile will be deployed in, and the iPhone is the platform everyone seems to be focusing on.

As with the first whitepaper, you will find a number of insights that shed light on what seems to lead to successful customer service engagement over social channels.  Additionally, we are really excited to be able to include the insights and perspectives from John Hernandez, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Customer Collaboration Business Unit.  John shares his years of customer support management experience to discuss the evolution of the contact center, the impact social networks are having on how agents engage customers, the importance of improving the customer experience, and the relationship customers will have with the company today…and tomorrow. 

Once again, you can download a free copy of the whitepaper by clicking on this link.  We hope you find the information in this installment of the Social Customer Engagement Index informative and helpful.  And thank you to the members of SOCAP, SNCR and of course our community members here at TheSocialCustomer.com who took the time to participate in the survey.  Your experiences and information will help us all get closer to building better, longer-lasting relationships with our customers.


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