The rise of social media has changed customer service beyond recognition.

In today’s competitive landscape, customer service is more important than ever. A company’s reputation for satisfying their customers has never been so valuable.

It’s worth pointing out that it takes three times as much internal resources to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one. In these lean times it puts an awful lot of pressure on companies to ensure retention rates are as high as possible. And good customer service is a great tool to do this.

But are companies getting it? Does it look like big corporates are responding to this change in the landscape?

The short answer is no:

  • Over 58% of tweeters who have tweeted about a bad experience have never received a response from the offending company

  • 55% of consumers expect a response the same day to an online complaint – yet only 29% receive one

  • 43% of consumers say that companies should use social media to solve customers’ problems

These statistics lay out clearly how the game has changed. Customers will no longer be happy with ‘old style’ customer service. To satisfy your customers, it’s essential to have a responsive social media presence.

To be fair, things are changing. By the end of the year, 75% of US-based companies expect to use social media for customer service. It’s a reaction to the changing game. Gone are the days when social media was all about marketing through Twitter and Facebook. It’s now an integral tool to ensure you are responsive not reactive, contactable not aloof and authentic not robotic. And increasingly, it’s about solving customer’s issues in real time through social channels, showing your dedication and transparency to your customers.

I ramble I know, as I have a tendency of doing, but there is a reason for my rant. On my return back to the office last week – having recently returned from #CSMSF and #CSMNY – I stumbled across some great examples of companies embracing the power of social media for customer service and I thought I would share them with you. It looks like companies are trying to solve this problem, but aren’t quite there yet. So maybe I can help.

We’ve got some free presentations from Gina Debogovich, Director and Social Media Leader from BestBuy – on how BestBuy have rolled out Twelpforce and made it company policy. And Baochi Nguyen, PR and Social Media Manager from Boingo on the best ways to create a customer service centric policy at your company – all interesting stuff!

You can grab a copy of both presentations by heading here.

Or if you would rather talk than read – then connect with me at @HRollasonUSM or drop some feedback in the comments below!