We are pleased to announce the availability of the 2015 Social Customer Service Index Report. You can download it for free (registration required) by using this link.
This marks the fifth year of the report, with 942 respondents participating in the survey. In addition to this year's survey results, as in the past we've included case studies to add color/insight to the numbers. This year we're excited to have executives from Intercontinental Hotels Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and UPS share their experiences integrating social tools and strategies into their customer service processes.
As you will see, due to the amount of data coming from this year and the previous years of fielding the survey, we've broken the report into two pieces - the executive summary including the case studies, and the survey results with year-over-year trends. And, as in previous years, we've added a few questions. This year we focused more closely on organizational structures, strategic ownership of strategy (overall social, social customer service, customer service), and level of integration (strategy, team, process). We also look at how subscription business models are integrating social tools and strategies into customer service. And we are happy to include a short Q&A with Adobe's director of customer success Rani Mani, who shares the role customer service played in the transition away from selling software suites to the Creative Cloud subscription offerings - and the importance of social service in that transition.
40% of respondents said their companies were seeing very positive impact from social service efforts. While that is a pretty robust number, that still leaves 60% not seeing substantially positive results. To add more color we asked this open-ended question:
What would you like to change most about your social customer service efforts?
230 people took the time to share what they would change, with the below being a good representation of those answers:
- Integrate with other channels; omnichannel experiences + more automation
- Increase our activity and better integrate that to our data analysis
- Communication between PR to review customer service messaging, and ensure it aligns with brand messaging
- It should be more effective and part of an integrated process. We should also invest more time and resources in social customer service efforts.
- Most of our social media efforts come from marketing, while customer support via social media (a branded online community) is handled by our customer service department. I'd like the two to work closer together. It could become a great way to identify brand ambassadors and discover customer stories that in turn becomes social proof for prospective customers.
As these answers show, many professionals are looking for more cohesiveness in terms of better cross-department collaboration, more integrated processes, and more resources at their disposal to improve their abilities to create better customer experiences.
This year's report provides insights into just how important integrated processes, better collaboration, and employees happy with company efforts are to the success of social service initiatives. And we hope you find things in the report to help you find more success with your efforts in leveraging social to create better support experiences.
Thanks once again to SAP for sponsoring this study for the fifth consecutive year. And thank you for participating in the survey, and providing the SMT community with more opportunities to learn from your expertise and experience