May 16, 2012, 4:58 PM

Good customer service via social media can lead to more spending

A survey finds that 17% of online consumers sought service via social media.

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Retailers that want to persuade consumers to spend more should do more to offer good customer service via social media. That’s the message of a recent survey report from American Express World Service.

An online survey conducted in February of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that 17% of respondents had used social media for customer service at least once within the past year. Those consumers are willing to increase their spending by 21% with companies that provide “great” customer service, the report says. That compares with an 11% bump in spending for those respondents who had not used social media for customer service.

“Delivering outstanding service creates impassioned advocates and can serve as a powerful marketing weapon for companies,” says Jim Bush, executive vice president of American Express World Service, charged with providing service to the payment card network’s global consumers.  “[Those consumers] tell three times as many people about positive service experiences compared to the general population. Ultimately, getting service right with these social media savvy consumers can help a business grow.”

The survey also found that 80% of the respondents who used social media for customer service failed to complete a purchase with a retailer because of poor customer service. For all respondents, 55% failed to buy because of poor customer service.

For those consumers who have used social media for customer service, the report also says that:

• 50% sought a response from a company about a service issue.

• 48% praised a company for good service.

• 47% shared information about service issues with other consumers.

• 46% vented their frustration with poor service .

• 43% asked other consumers on social media about how to get better service from a company.

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