Social Media: Reducing Customer Support Costs?

OK, there is an item in this chart that caught me off guard.  57% responded that Social Media is effective tool for reducing support costs.  I would love to know more about this item.  I can understand the others.   We help help clients achieve many if not all of these claims, but reducing support costs is a shocker to me.

In many cases, Social Media is another skill set and talent set that needs to be created and matured and thus takes time and energy to grow into excellence.  This time and energy is usually a new cost to any organization.

New Chart: Rating the Effectiveness of Social Media in Terms of Objectives Achieved Chart of the Week

Source: New Chart: How Effective is Social Media in Achieving Target Business Objectives?

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  1. #1 by Tim Farmer on August 23, 2010 - 7:39 am

    Great post. Totally agree, I would also love to hear how Social Media can reduce support costs. The only way I can see is in communicating with the client more frequently to answer questions and solve issues sooner, to retain the client and add satisfaction. But there is still a cost involved in this task. I think it maybe more of a perceived cost reduction, a flow on from a better relationship with clients rather than an actual cost reduction?

    • #2 by Tim Rueb on August 23, 2010 - 8:22 am

      Thanks for the comment Tim.

      Frequent Communication: Let me build on your thought. I can see in our personal lives how better communications can make deposits into our ’emotional bank account’ with other people so I could build a same argument that frequent, timely, and relevant communications could make deposits in our ‘corporate or brand bank account’ and thus help with retention issues when that inevitable problem occurs or a new competitor threat arrives and a client must make a choice of changing companies or vendor. I guess that is one way of looking at it. Maybe even calculating this based on some ‘life time value’ numbers around retention, but I think that is still a stretch.

      I spend a lot of my time ‘selling social media’ to my SMB clients. When they do see the value and agree, they quickly ask or come to the conclusion, “who is going to do this” or “how can I fit this into the work my office already does”. There is a natural understanding that this new direction will cost something. Right now with Facebook being the 900lb gorilla in the room I have an easy time talking about marketing reach so it becomes an easier sell on reaching new client then if I had to convince my clients it’s about saving money on support costs.

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