A recent study conducted by the business consulting firm Northridge Group has revealed that 33 percent of consumers who contact brands/companies via social media channels with a customer service question never get a response. The main takeaways from the survey are as follows:

  • Out of more than 1,000 respondents, 26 percent of consumers choose social media for customer service when they are unable to reach a representative through another contact platform.
  • Of those, 33 percent never receive a response, and when companies do respond, over 30 percent of those responses do not meet the customers’ expectations.
  • Social media currently has the lowest percentage of successful issue resolution and follow up of all communication channels, with only 3 percent of consumers citing social media as the fastest channel for issue resolution and only 2 percent claiming it is their preferred channel to reach out to companies.
  • Over 63 percent of consumers report having to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before their customer service inquiry or issue is resolved.
  • Around 42 percent of consumers expect some resolution within about an hour when using social media for customer service interactions, and most are disappointed.

So what does this mean for social media and business? According to Pam Plyler (executive practice lead for customer experience and contact center management at the Northridge Group), social media is simply not living up to its hype when it comes to customer service and engagement. As she points out, “While there are added complexities to managing customer service through social media, engagement should not be considered optional. With the right focus, this channel can be effectively integrated into your overall service strategy.”

Indeed, there are clear opportunities for companies to leverage social media resources to build up their brands and strengthen customer engagement. According to the survey:

  • Nearly half of customers plan in the future to use social media for customer service issues either the same or more than they currently do.
  • Consumers want to use social media platforms to resolve problems.
  • Social media provides a critical channel for today’s small businesses in their aim to deliver a seamless multichannel customer experience to their customers.


Barton, J. “Oh-oh! Study Shows a Third of Consumers Who Contact Brands via Social Media Get Silence in Return,” Mobile Marketing Watch.