Social media as part of customer relationship services is still a young market, and strategies around it remain underdeveloped due to confusion and resistance at the executive level of several industries, says Ovum.
In a new report, the independent technology analyst firm states that a number of CEOs and senior executives fail to see how social media adds value to their overall strategy, and are therefore reluctant to invest internally or externally in the concept, even though monetarily it is not a huge investment.
“Social media often only requires a miniscule fraction of the seats and revenue required for traditional channels, yet it can provide enterprises with valuable realtime market data. However, enterprise executives are yet to see this value, » Margaret Goldberg, Ovum IT services analyst, said.
If enterprise leaders do not become more receptive to leveraging social media, they are going to fall behind and pay the price, suggests Ovum’s research. Leaders must seek help to develop their strategy in this area, otherwise they will miss opportunities to reach customers and access strategic information.
“More customers are using social networks to voice complaints and praise, » Goldberg commented.
« This is a trend that will continue as the generation that grew up with social media matures. Social media is a horizontal technology in a vertical structure that, if used well, can help a company position itself more competitively.”
Several trends across vertical sectors have emerged. The retail, hospitality, transportation and technology industries are early adopters of using social media as a customer service channel, and are using it pervasively. However, companies such as banks, financial institutions and healthcare providers are much slower and more reluctant to use this channel due to security, privacy and regulatory concerns.
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