Social media raises customer service stakes in India: Report


MUMBAI: Indians are far ahead of their Asian counterparts in the use of social media to get customer service response from companies, a survey released this week has said.

According to an American Express Customer Service Barometer, “71 percent Indians have used social media at least once in the past one year for customer service, more than twice that of Japan (29 percent) and ahead of Hong Kong (50 percent).”

The survey, conducted online among a sample of Indian consumers aged 18 years and above, also indicated that an overwhelming majority – 89 percent – said they were willing to spend more with a company that provided good customer service.

On average, they are willing to spend as much as 22 percent more with a company that gives superior consumer service.

Over 78 percent said they spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences.

The level of customer service was the third most important factor to choose a company. 25 percent said it was the most important reason.

Indians use various communication channels to talk about customer service experiences-face-to-face (53 percent, all the time), social networking sites (83 percent always or sometimes) and online chat or instant messaging (80 percent always or sometimes).

Another reason for the popularity of social media for is the speed with which a company resolves issues posted on such platforms, the survey said.

For simple issues, Indian consumers preferred going online (17 percent), via a company website or email.

For more complex enquiries, such as returning a product or getting assistance, consumers (22 percent) preferred speaking with a person on the phone.

The top five reasons for which Indian consumers use social media on customer service were:

– Sharing information about service experience – 56 percent – Asking others about how to get better service – 50 percent – Praising a company for service experience – 47 percent – Seeking actual response from a company about an issue – 47 percent – Seeking recommendations from others about good service providers – 45 percent.

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