A January 2017 report from Harvard Business Review Analytics Services (link below) reveals that global business leaders increasingly view social media as a foundational enabler of customer experience.
While you’ll likely not be surprised that 86% of business leaders agree that customer experience is vital for success, only 34% of companies feel they have the tools and skills to deliver superior customer experiences.
It turns out that the rise of digital customer journeys where social media and mobile devices play an increasing role have made the typical linear path to purchase increasingly rare. The buying process is now increasingly made up of “micro-moments” – a term coined by Google researchers – where consumers research products in the spaces between other activities in their day.
Even if you don’t do this yourself you no doubt have seen others doing it. Google researchers found that more than 90% of smartphone users look up information while they are in the middle of another task. Nearly 70% of leisure travelers with smartphones research possible travel ideas while standing in line or waiting for the subway. More than 80% of smartphone users research product purchases while in store! Clearly, for many, the smartphone is already an integral part of shopping in the physical world.
Customer care, which has often been treated like an organizational afterthought, must now adapt to an ever-increasing volume of publicly visible real-time interactions. Leaders have realized that social media plays a key role in customer experience success and is also a key risk point that must be managed.
Over 75% of surveyed companies say social media will be extremely important over the next three years. Leaders no longer view social media as an inexpensive marketing channel but a foundational element of the experience they provide their customers. This short but illuminating report from HBR is worth your time. Perhaps you can read it on your phone while waiting in line!