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July 20, 2010

Companies failing to cash on social media, says new study

70% of consumers want to interact via social media channels and trust company information provided to them

By CBR Staff Writer

Companies are failing to use social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to reach their customers and employees, according to a new study by research firm Yankee Group and commissioned by Siemens Enterprise Communications.

The study on the importance of social media in business and customer communications revealed that vast majority of employees and consumers would prefer to use social networking for business communications.

According to the new report, average customer satisfaction with current business interactions via social media is just 65%, and that one third of businesses have no formal social networking policies, do not allow the use of social media at work.

Zeus Kerravala, distinguished research fellow at Yankee, said: "Social media is changing the way businesses, customers and employees interact, and this creates significant opportunities for contact centers and the enterprise as a whole to leverage the integration of these tools into business processes.

"As integration of social media improves within the contact center and with unified communications and collaboration, businesses can improve customer interactions and positively impact employee productivity and collaboration."

Siemens said that 70% of consumers want to interact via social media channels and trust company information provided to them via their social networks, and nearly 60% of customers feel company outreach via social media would improve their loyalty to that company.

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Most customers feel that companies should be monitoring social media for customer feedback, 50% of respondents use social media daily or several times a day, while nearly 70% of employees feel they need better tools to track and manage social media for business.

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