The Social/Mobile Dilemma: The Buck Stops Where?
A new survey of 798 senior executives from around the planet finds an Abbott and Costello-like situation when it comes to who within companies is responsible for newer customer communication channels, i.e., social and mobile.
The Getting Closer to the Customer Report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit for Genysys found that 58 percent of c-suite inhabitants believe the CEO is responsible. Twenty-eight percent of middle managers, however, disagree.
Part of the reason for this apparent "Who’s on first" situation with social and mobile is that many companies are still relative rookies when it comes to the channels. The report found that 43 percent of companies have only begun using social media to communicate with customers in the last year while only 11 percent have been doing so for three years or more.
"It is alarming that many companies are late to the party and have not clearly assigned responsibility for these channels," said Paul Segre, president and CEO of Genesys, in a statement. "As companies tackle the demands of delivering a great customer experience across an increasing number of communication channels, their brand is ultimately at stake."
Forty-four percent of executives said that marketing is leading the charge when it comes to communicating via social and mobile. Customer service has not been a priority, with just six percent viewing customer support/service as the main purpose of the new channels of communication.
"Executives still believe that media is something they control, that goes from them to the customer. Deep down, they don’t understand the permanent nature of the new media," said Donna Hoffman, professor of marketing, A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California Riverside. "They need people constantly monitoring, responding, conveying a consistent message, analyzing data. There’s this feeling that you appoint a small team to look after social media, and then the situation is dealt with. It isn’t."
The study found that when it comes to digital customer communications, 90 percent look to their websites to do the job and 88 percent utilize email. By comparison, 48 percent are currently using social media and networking sites while only 20 percent are making use of mobile applications.
Companies that put a single person in charge of the new channels were found to be more successful than those that used teams. One-third of executives at companies that went the team route said there was a disconnect between the groups. Only nine percent that placed a single person in charge held that opinion.
- Executives Unsure About Where the Buck Stops for New Customer Communication Channels, Finds New Genesys-sponsored Report – Genysys
Discussion Questions: Is a marketing-first approach the right way for companies to handle customer communications via social and mobile? How interconnected are social and mobile and what should that mean in terms of companies’ use of the channels to communicate with customers?