Businesses Missing Out on Social Media Opportunities, Siemens Enterprise Communications Study Finds
Reston, Va., Jul 19, 2010
Seventy percent of consumers want to interact via social media, only 30 percent of companies are ready for it
Companies failing to use social media to reach their customers and employees do so at their own peril, according to a new study on the importance of social media in business and customer communications.
The study, conducted by leading research firm Yankee Group and commissioned by Siemens Enterprise Communications, finds that the vast majority of employees and consumers would prefer to use social networking for business communications.
The study showed average customer satisfaction with current business interactions via social media is just 65 percent, and that one third of businesses have no formal social networking policies, do not allow the use of social media at work or aren’t aware of their company’s participation in social networking.
Overlooking social networking tools for business communications means lost opportunities to drive customer collaboration and employee productivity. To help customers integrate social media into their communications and business processes, Siemens Enterprise Communications now offers OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integrations. These new, customer-driven, integration service solutions enable companies to tightly weave both public and corporate social media tools into enterprise customer contact centers and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions.
“Social media is changing the way businesses, customers and employees interact, and this creates significant opportunities for contact centers and the enterprise as a whole to leverage the integration of these tools into business processes,” said Zeus Kerravala, distinguished research fellow at Yankee Group. “As integration of social media improves within the contact center and with unified communications and collaboration, businesses can improve customer interactions and positively impact employee productivity and collaboration.”
Selected Study Highlights:
- Seventy percent of consumers want access to company experts and support via social media channels and trust company information provided to them via their social networks
- Nearly 60 percent of customers feel company outreach via social media would improve their loyalty to that company
- Most customers feel that companies should be monitoring social media for customer feedback
- Fifty percent of respondents use social media daily or several times a day
- Nearly 70 percent of employees feel they need better tools to track and manage social media for business, and would like the ability to initiate a Web conference automatically from a chat discussion at work, inviting people from within their social and work networks
"Henry Ford Health System strives to give all of our patients a ‘wow’ experience and ensure their interactions with us are positive," said Lefka Simeon, site administrator for the HFHS contact center. "We see social media as a rapidly emerging interaction channel for our clients, and adding social media capabilities including Web presence, Web chat and other tools, is another way we can deliver better and faster service to our patients."
In combination with Siemens Enterprise Communications’ award-winning OpenScape solutions, the OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integrations can be used to automate and aggregate social media tools and contacts with existing desktop communications, making it simpler for employees to collaborate and monitor customer or partner activities. In addition, they enable “one click” escalation of social media dialogs to richer media such as multi-party audio or video conferencing, so it is fast and easy to resolve customer concerns. The integration of social media and UCC into contact center processes can improve average call time, first contact resolution rates and customer loyalty.
Some integration examples include:
- Automated routing of inbound and outbound social media interactions to improve customer interactions with contact center agents
- Seamless integration of social media interactions and data into existing contact center management, monitoring and reporting tools, streamlining processes and improving efficiency
- Availability of subject matter experts or customer assistance personnel via social networking sites, simplifying and speeding customer response
- Streamlined information sharing via blogs, corporate wikis and chat groups through UCC desktop integration, improving team collaboration
- Automated updates to presence status and conferencing abilities through social networking sites such as Twitter, making it easier to connect with colleagues and customers
“Businesses simply must improve their ability to serve consumers using all manner of social media,” said Chris Hummel, chief marketing officer at Siemens Enterprise Communications. “Our ground-breaking research shows that increasingly customers are demanding that business talk to them in the language of their choosing - whether it be Twitter, Facebook, blogging – or the next new thing. With OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integrations, our customers can easily harness the power of social media to strengthen their customer relationships and improve employee productivity.”
The OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integrations are now available through Siemens Enterprise Communications professional services and through select channel partners.
About Siemens Enterprise Communications
Siemens Enterprise Communications is a premier provider of end-to-end enterprise communications, including voice, network infrastructure and security solutions that use open, standards-based architectures to unify communications and business applications for a seamless collaboration experience. This award-winning "Open Communications" approach enables organizations to improve productivity and reduce costs through easy-to-deploy solutions that work within existing IT environments, delivering operational efficiencies. It is the foundation for the company's OpenPath® commitment that enables customers to mitigate risk and cost-effectively adopt unified communications. Jointly owned by The Gores Group and Siemens AG, Siemens Enterprise Communications companies include Siemens Enterprise Communications, Cycos, and Enterasys Networks.
For more information about Siemens Enterprise Communications or Enterasys please visit www.siemens-enterprise.com or www.enterasys.com.
Note: Siemens Enterprise Communications & Co K.G. is a trademark licensee of Siemens AG. HiPath, OpenOffice, OpenScape and OpenStage, are registered trademarks of Siemens Enterprise Communications & Co K.G. or its affiliates. All other company, brand, product and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
This release contains forward-looking statements based on beliefs of Siemens’ management. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "forecast," "expect," "intend," "plan," "should," and "project" are used to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the company's current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause the actual results to be materially different, including, among others, changes in general economic and business conditions, changes in currency exchange rates and interest rates, introduction of competing products, lack of acceptance of new products or services and changes in business strategy. Actual results may vary materially from those projected here. Siemens does not intend or assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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