Almost half of consumers believe social media can hold brands and companies to account and businesses need new multi-channel strategies to tackle 'disconnect' with customers 

Businesses must reinvent their customer service models to respond to a growing breed of 'connected customers' who use social media to comment on service, according to the Customer Contact Association (CCA), the global professional body for contact centres.

CCA Chief Executive Anne Marie Forsyth commented: "UK organisations spend millions of pounds each year analysing customer comment but CCA research shows that many are failing to keep pace with their most 'connected' customers who use social media as a powerful tool to make their views known. The social media revolution is rewriting customer service rules and CCA is helping business to formulate a robust strategic response."

CCA, which conducts leading-edge research into customer service and customer contact issues, found in its latest research, sponsored by Verint and compiled in association with Ipsos MORI, that 46% of consumers believe that "social media can hold brands and companies to account like never before." As more than 70% of the online population now regularly use Facebook and Twitter, the issue is becoming more critical for business.

CCA also urges companies to review which channels they use to monitor customer feedback as it has uncovered a mismatch between customers' preferred channels and the ones companies monitor most frequently. 


CCA research showed that 75% of consumers currently use email to contact companies about service issues however 65% of organisations polled by CCA monitor less than one-quarter of emails they receive as a source of customer insight.

Anne Marie Forsyth added: "We know organisations are genuinely committed to listening to customers yet our latest research shows that 44% of consumers believe companies do not care what they think. It is clear that many businesses are struggling to listen to the customer voice across all channels but it is critical that they address this disconnect, especially in the current economic climate. Organisations must adopt effective multi-channel customer contact methodologies or risk alienating or losing valuable customers."

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