Social Media Customer Service Hits Its Stride

An improved mobile experience has led to increased satisfaction with customer service provided on social media.

Social media has been called the future of customer experience, however despite a majority of 78 per cent of firms having a social care team in place, the service they provide through these digital channels has not always been satisfactory to customers.

A long response time, not providing social care 24/7 and not actually answering or helping the customers reaching out through these channels are at the heart of the problem, though customers have noticed improvements in the last year.

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The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for e-businesses, which is based on 5,400 customer surveys collected in the second quarter of 2015, shows that social media has climbed 4.2 per cent to a score of 74 on ACSI's 100-point scale.

This means that while last year it was ranked as one of the worst industries on the Index, it has now overtaken Internet news and opinion websites (which have fallen 1.4 per cent to a score of 73).

Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and founder, explained that the increased satisfaction is largely due to an improvement in the mobile experience.

He said: "Today's consumers practically live on their smartphones, and mobile compatibility is increasingly important to customer satisfaction.

"Social media has made strides in improving the mobile experience, particularly through mobile apps that can be optimised by operating system to ensure better compatibility with various screen sizes."

Out of the social channels included in the Index, it's Facebook who has made the biggest improvement as it soared 12 per cent to an ACSI score of 75.

However, leading the industry for the second year in a row is social bookmarking site Pinterest, which has seen a 3 per cent increase to a score of 78. Wikipedia is in second place with a score of 77.

Instagram has made its first appearance in the Index with a score of 76. The mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking site is leading the category for ease of use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. YouTube has leaped 4 per cent, also receiving a score of 76.

Google+ is up 6 per cent to 75 and Twitter has reached its highest ACSI score to date, rising 3 per cent to 71.

Near the bottom of the category, microblogging platform Tumblr has posted its first ACSI score at 69. And LinkedIn remains at the bottom despite a 1 per cent uptick to 68.