In one of my recent blogs I explored the increasing importance of the customer experience, particularly because customers are now also publishers - they can easily tell their friends how good or bad your service is at the push of a button.
Consumers have really become the driving force behind the adoption of social tools in the enterprise, changing many departments within companies to reflect this. 57% of companies are using social media to be more relevant to their customers, 54% are using it to build better customer relationships, and 50% are using it to build better product awareness.
In the past 8 months, the number of UK consumers using social media as a customer service channel has doubled to 18m. This is an enormous change to the entire customer service industry - just consider that 65% of people think that social media is preferable to ringing a call centre. 68% of consumers have actually used social media to get help from a brand.
But the social web is not just changing how customers reach a customer service advisor, it is allowing customers to find other customers. Only 14% of consumers actually trust adverts, yet 90% trust recommendations from peers - so if you have faith in your products then you will want to facilitate a way to get existing customers talking to prospective customers.
CEOs often say that they want to get closer to their customers. The tools and methods to achieve this are now all around us; they just need to be harnessed more effectively.
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