In today’s digital age, there’s no question that more and more businesses are starting to put more effort into improving their online business presence. Social media is hot, hot, hot, and it seems every company under the sun now has a Facebook page and may even be on Twitter, Youtube, or other social media channels.

While there’s no questioning the fact that these social media mediums can be an excellent way to get your marketing message across and build up a loyal base of customers or potential customers, it’s time to question the effectiveness of using these channels as a means of customer service.

Let’s look at what you need to know.

The Latest Research

A recent study that was conducted by the Technology Consultancy Portal found that the social media channels were rated as one of the least favorite methods by customers for communicating with the companies they’re doing business with.

The facts are clear, customers still prefer using the traditional phone method for business inquiries.

While Twitter and Facebook may be great for updating your service or product selection and providing updates on what’s new with the company, it’s not the greatest when it comes to actually interacting with customers.

In fact, many of the Facebook pages out there don’t even have a clear way for a customer to send a private email on their site, so this completely rules out the option of personal contact.

Most people simply won’t feel comfortable posting questions on the wall of business pages or using Twitter to get their question out.

Additionally, often the complaint the customer has or inquiry they need an answer to is simply too long to post up on a Facebook page or worse yet, try and formulate into a Tweet.

Taking Steps To Improve Your Customer Service

So what should you be doing with this information? If you’re looking to build a respectable brand for yourself, continue working on customer service, moving away from the social media platform. While this doesn’t mean you should forgo these sites entirely – having a brand presence is still important, don’t neglect traditional customer service methods.

Customers are still stating telephone and email as the preferred methods of contact, so make sure both are readily available. From there, also make sure that you are investing in phone staff who receive proper training for the job so that calls are answered effectively and quickly as they come in.

Many customers still prefer in-person communication as well, so do your best to maintain this with your company. As some business are starting to give up their bricks and mortar roots in favor of doing business entirely only, if you can avoid this, it may just be best.

Whatever you do, the facts are clear. More and more businesses are suffering hard times due to customers seeking out alternative solutions due to poor customer service experiences, so make sure that you aren’t taking this information lightly.

Melanie Burgess is a Content Specialist at UP Search writing on behalf of