Is Social Media Replacing Phone Calls? Absolutely Not!

In an age where people can barely go five minutes without sharing a cringeworthy selfie with all of their online “friends”, it’s easy to assume that social media is quickly taking over the world.

There’s no doubt that networking platforms – particularly Facebook and Twitter – have had a big impact on the customer service industry, but have they really stopped people from making good, old-fashioned phone calls? The answer to this is an emphatic NO!

Most of us still prefer to pick up the phone

The fact that alldayPA has, at the time of writing, answered more than 64.4 million calls on behalf of our clients since 1999 suggests that the telephone is anything but obsolete.

If this wasn’t enough proof to back up our argument, a new study conducted by NICE Systems has provided yet more evidence. According to the report, 88 per cent of people still choose to make a phone call if they have a complaint or query.

Phone calls are the most popular method of connecting with companies, followed by website self-service (used by 83 per cent of the poll). In most cases, consumers who have opted to use social media to deal with their issue like to have the option of speaking to a customer service representative on the phone anyway.

The survey acknowledges that social media and mobile apps have started to change the way people get in touch with businesses – the use of both as customer service tools has doubled since 2011. However, it’s clear that those who still insist the telephone is on the brink of extinction are a long way wide of the mark.

Which customer service method has the best success rate? You guessed it!

Most tellingly of all, Nice Systems’ Global Customer Experience Survey showed that social media has a paltry 29 per cent customer service success rate, which is not even in the same ball park as the 69 per cent of queries that are successfully dealt with over the phone.

Add to this the fact that just one per cent of consumers think that social media is the most satisfying customer service method, and it is clear that Twitter and Facebook have a long way to go before they are viewed as the most effective way to interact with a company. That said, we’re certainly not naïve. We know that the use of these platforms will increase in the coming years, but we firmly believe they will be utilised alongside the telephone, and not instead of it.

There was one more key statistic from the report that caught my eye. Apparently, 96 per cent of consumers who used as little effort as possible when making a complaint or query reported a strong sense of loyalty to the company in question. This is by no means a surprising figure, but it does reiterate the point that businesses must ensure they perfect their overall customer experience.

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