23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

Summary: Almost one-quarter of companies offer customer support via Facebook, according to a new study by MarketTools.

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MarketTools, an online market research company that also provides software and services for enterprise feedback management (EFM), has released a new social media study. The biggest finding is that almost one-quarter of companies (23 percent to be exact) provide customer service and support via Facebook, and just over a tenth of firms (12 percent) provide customer service and support via Twitter.

MarketTools conducted the study in September 2011 by surveying executives at companies with annual revenue greater than $10 million. It's not clear how many companies were asked to participate, but in the end there were 331 completed surveys.

The study found 34 percent of the executives surveyed stated that they were aware of customers using social media to comment on or complain about their company and its products. Despite this, less than a quarter of these executives said that their companies "always" respond to these customers. Still, 33 percent of them said their companies have a greater focus on using social media to capture customer feedback when compared to the same time last year.

Of the 68 percent of companies that have an active presence in social media, Facebook tends to be the first choice. 48 percent have an active presence on Facebook, 24 percent have a Twitter account, and just 17 percent use their own company blog.

Interestingly, only about 22 percent of those surveyed stated that their company's CEO regularly participates in social media on behalf of the company. Facebook is again the social media channel of choice: 68 percent of CEOs use Facebook, 44 percent participate on the company blog, and 35 percent participate on Twitter.

On the one hand, 95 percent of respondents believe that satisfied customers are very important or extremely important to their company. On the other hand, only 36 percent have formal voice of the customer programs in place to collect and analyze customer feedback, and of those companies, nearly half (45 percent) solicit customer feedback on a quarterly or less frequent basis.

"Companies are increasingly embracing social media as a way to interact with their customers, though they are missing an opportunity to incorporate this feedback into a voice of the customer program," Karin Adams, Director of Enterprise Products at MarketTools, said in a statement. "Organizations that use enterprise feedback management solutions are able to analyze feedback gathered through social media channels, along with feedback gathered through more traditional channels, to uncover insights to help improve business processes that lead to higher overall customer satisfaction."

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Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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13 comments
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  • Missing Qualifier

    23% of *large* companies. Revenue over $10 million makes a difference in what's being talked about here.
    MichP
    • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

      @MichP It's probably a HIGHER percentage of small companies, ones with no bureaucracy or where the boss knows how online works.
      big red one
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    Makes me wonder though - I've seen how most CEO's appear on Facebook - it looks like a press release. They fair dinkum sound like the Pointy-haired Boss from Dilbert.<br><br>Do these people get that it needs a change of persona/ image, a degree of 'funkiness' if you like, to get at all noticed on FB or social media? Most of all, the old rule of the Internet applies - the WIIFM (What's in it for me) rule. If you're not offering something, don't bother please - it actually damages your look.
    RayAhern
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    The 23 percent of companies that use facebook to provide customer support, obviouslty don't have any product I'm interested in.

    I loathe facebook.
    I loathe companies that don't have opt out in their emails.
    Like avanquest. - turkey of the month.
    I bought some of their software 2-3 years ago, (and they treated me like a thief when I went for update)s. therefore that entitles them to keep spamming me.
    inkwell
    • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

      @inkwell I agree 100%!! Add in fb's flagrant lack of privacy issues and it's kindergarden levels of "security"....fb should be recognized for what it is; a multi-level marketing scheme!!
      They sent martha to jail....for far less of an offense...zuckerberg...are you listening?
      phoenix144
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    @inkwell sums up my feelings. I do not trust Facebook so I have not joined.
    misceng
    • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

      @misceng Then I guess those companies aren't marketing to YOU. However, they are marketing to the 700 million users that HAVE joined Facebook.

      I always wonder why people who hate (whatever) feel they need to comment on articles about others that use (whatever). That is, your opinion is meaningless in the context of this article or discussion.
      big red one
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    Love this article and your perspective is spot on.
    Yebbie
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    This is disgusting!! Some Sites will ONLY let you communicate with them id you sign in with facebook...AND when you consider fb's flagrant lack of concern for privacy & kindergarden like "security", fb should go and hide!!
    phoenix144
  • Switcher750

    A company that insists that I connect via Facebook or any social network will NEVER do business with me.
    Switcher750
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    I am completely shocked that ONLY 12% of large companies do support on Twitter. How is that even possible, with all the case studies of major PR blunders happening because companies are not on Twitter, and all of the case studies of companies like Comcast and others who have done very well offering customer support services on Twitter? #baffled
    ToniaRies
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    Okay, as long as Facebook isn't provided as the *only* support option, otherwise that's 23% of companies who won't get my business.

    FB sucks as a tool for tracking problems, providing FAQ or decent forums organized around different topics.
    pistonhead
  • RE: 23 percent of companies offer customer support via Facebook

    This really sucks. Facebook is like the Borg of the internet, assimilating everything. Resistance is futile. I think it's bad practice of companies to do their support through Facebook. I do not have a FB account, never will, don't want one. NOT INTERESTED. So now I can't get support? Great idea.
    WindowWasher