Research from the United States suggests small businesses may be flourishing in the era of social customer service, with 72 per cent of the SMBs surveyed by BIA Kelsey stating they currently use social media. As the firm’s Director of Research, Steve Marshall, underlines;
“Together, mobile and social tools are transforming the way SMBs acquire and retain customers. With the heavy use of social media, small business marketing is quickly becoming a two-way engagement rather than a one-way promotion.”
Owing to the limited size of their business, smaller companies benefit from a greater knowledge of the company as a whole and its customer base, with close ties between staff members and regular clients. As a result, customer service staff can often either resolve queries independently or quickly consult with another employee, offering rapid, effective and friendly service.
As companies grow though, an expanding customer base can quickly make customer service a much more complex process. Without a record of CIM data on each consumer, including their interaction history with the brand and purchase data, these brands often find it impossible to deliver a personal touch.
What’s more, the separation between the customer service team and the business’ other functions can make resolving specific issues time-consuming, requiring assistants to request information from other departments. This delay can lead to customers having to repeat their queries to multiple employees. Worse still, if consumers are unsatisfied with response speeds, they may post multiple queries through different communication channels, from social media and mobile apps to traditional call centres.
For big businesses to overcome these issues and maintain the personal approach of a smaller firm, CIM systems must be integrated across each different service channel and made accessible to all departments.