Genesys conducted a study that surveyed more than 798 senior executives worldwide about customer communication and found that the social and mobile channels are not yet aligned with customer service. Shocking, I know. Some key points:
- Fifty eight percent of C-suite Execs see the CEO as responsible for the social media and mobile channels, but only 28 percent of middle managers agree. The disconnect between top-level and mid-ranking executives might be explained by the novelty factor of social media.
- When it comes to driving the customer conversation, the marketing department, not customer service or the C-suite, is driving the response to new channels with 44 percent of executives saying the marketing department has dominated the dialogue between company and customer.
- The report also found that 43 percent of companies only began using social media in the last year and only 11 percent of businesses have been using social media to communicate with customers for three years or more.
- Customer Service has not been a priority with new communications channels. Only 42 percent of organizations use call centers to communicate with customers and just 6 percent see customer support/service as the main purpose of new communication channels.
A few thoughts. In larger, more mature companies, the CEO is generally someone my age – well over 50. One might wonder how familiar your stereotypical CEO is with social channels and what sort of daily (much less hourly) use they make of them. No wonder the middle managers are a little skeptical. The implied turf war between marketing, PR, and customer service over who is in charge is no surprise. Nor is it a shock that companies that appoint a single person, instead of a team, to manage all communications were more successful. Thirty-three percent of executives within companies that have appointed a team to manage social media/mobile channels felt that there was a disconnect between teams that touch these channels. In organizations that had appointed a single individual to manage new channels, just 9 percent perceived the same disconnect.
Social media as a communications channel is a huge disruptor. Those sorts of hot potatoes aren’t welcomed into most corporate environments. As the study show, the social round peg isn’t fitting into any of the existing square holes. The companies that are doing well are the ones that have drilled a round place.