Are customers who use social media different than other customers? The American Express 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer (pdf) says Yes, they are. In addition to establishing a few key differences between consumers who use social media and those who do not, the AMEX Barometer sheds light on general consumer attitudes towards customer service and exposes some interesting information as well as confirms some obvious beliefs.
The infographic to the right sums up a few of the many findings from the AMEX Barometer:
The AMEX Barometer underscores some key learnings for customer service, particularly about what consumers expect from companies.
One of the interesting facets of this year’s AMEX Barometer was the differentiation shown between consumers who use social media and those who do not.
> Caveat: There is a potential flaw in this conclusion. The AMEX analysis is purely quantitative and not at all qualitative. Saying that a social media users present a greater opportunity because they tell more people ignores two important aspects: 1) Knowing what percent of “telling” by social media consumers is actually on social media. Social media users talk to their friends on the phone like everyone else. 2) Assuming that the quality of a recommendation made through social media is as strong as a recommendation made via other means like phone or face-to-face conversation. It might not be.
The AMEX Barometer sheds some interesting light on the state of customer service in the year 2012 and helps add some clarity to the oft-discussed but little-studied topic of social media and its impact on customer service. Check out the full reports for more informative customer service statistics.
Quick Methodological Notes: The AMEX Barometer was conducted through an online survey, so it will not be representative of the general population but only the population that has Internet access. For most brands, this is an irrelevant difference, but not for all. Also, the conclusions above are based on a global survey. For the difference broken down by country, please see the American Express 2012 Global Customer Service – Market Findings (pdf) report.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.