Social media: Workers demand better tools to talk to customers

So why are employers still saying 'no'?
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

So why are employers still saying 'no'?

Businesses could boost both employee productivity and customer satisfaction by opening up more channels of communication via social media, a study has found.

Research by Yankee Group found the majority of workers, almost 70 per cent, want their company to provide better software tools to help them use social media to communicate with colleagues and customers at work.

Employees gave researchers an example of software that would make it easier to use social media in the workplace, asking for a program that would allow them to host a web conference with both members of their social network and work colleagues.

However a significant minority of business, 30 per cent, are not using social media in any meaningful way according to the research, which was commissioned by Siemens Enterprise Communications.

Facebook, social media in the workplace

Businesses need to increase their support for using social media at work if they want to keep workers and customers happy
(Screenshot credit: Facebook)

The study found that these 30 per cent of businesses either have no formal policies on social networking; do not allow the use of social media at work; or have low general levels of awareness about their company's participation in social networking.

The study also found that more than two-thirds of consumers, 70 per cent, want to use social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to access customer support.

Nearly 60 per cent of customers felt that being able to interact with a company using a social network would improve their loyalty to that company.

Most customers also felt that companies should be actively monitoring social media for customer feedback.

Zeus Kerravala, distinguished research fellow at Yankee Group, said both customer satisfaction and employee productivity would benefit from integrating social media into the customer support, using technologies such as unified communications.

Any marketing or HR managers struggling with how to harness the power of social media should check out silicon.com's guide to using Facebook and Twitter to boost business.

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