India, China more inclined to use social media for customer service

by CXOtoday Staff    Mar 07, 2012

Consumers in emerging markets are more inclined to use social media for customer service than those in developed markets, says Ovum.

According to a study by research firm Ovum, 32 percent of respondents from emerging countries have used social media for customer service, compared to just 10 percent from developed countries.

Although the results from emerging countries do not entirely represent the behavior of those countries’ populations, given that the respondents are more web savvy than the average individual, this trend is still compelling, the study said.

Contact centres need to address customers’ changing channel preferences and improve first contact resolution on the web, in both emerging and developed countries, according to Ovum.

“Web savvy consumers in emerging markets, such as China and India, are more inclined to use social media for customer service as opposed to consumers in developed countries. They are using social media to ask and respond to questions in communities, as well as to complain about or promote products and services,” said Aphrodite Brinsmead, Customer Interaction Analyst at Ovum.

The report shows that those consumers with greater purchasing power in emerging countries have a preference for using social media for customer service. But while social media is widely talked about in today’s market, it has a long way to go before it can be used effectively by consumers and enterprises.

To help understand how adoption of social media and smartphones is evolving, Ovum conducted a survey of over 4,000 consumers across four developed countries (the US, the UK, France, and Germany) and four emerging countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).

“Relatively few customers, across both emerging and developed countries, are able to resolve their issues using social media tools because enterprises are not yet doing enough to encourage or support them,” said Brinsmead.

She added that although social media is not yet a mainstream tool for customer service, vendors must help enterprises integrate it within their contact centres operations. “It makes sense for those in emerging economies to develop better social media and web self-service capabilities in order to target those consumers who are readily adopting these channels.”