As technology has grown, businesses and organizations have tried to stay with the times and keep up-to-date on what consumers want. The social media scene has very much become an important aspect of customers' daily lives, and as such, companies try to contact them using strategies that range from advertising on Twitter to posting coupons and deals on Facebook.
However, a recent survey shows that consumers won't be any more loyal to one particular business over another just through social media alone. The key is through simplifying the process of shopping overall, and making it as easy and painless as possible.
The IBM Institute for Business Value found that 60 to 65 percent of business leaders believe consumers follow their brands on social media sites because they want to be a part of the community, when in all reality, only 25 to 30 percent of consumers agree. Most customers admitted that deals and discounts were their top reasons for following companies.
"Simplify the decision-making process, so much so that consumers actually think less about the decision," wrote Forbes columnist Patrick Spenner in a recent article. Specifically, Spenner called the process 'Decision Simplicity,' and said the impact of simplifying purchase decisions for consumers is four times stronger than the favored marketing strategy of engagement.
For example, Corporate Executive Board (CEB) conducted a survey of 7,000 consumers and 200 marketing executives across different industries. CEB found that a 20 percent increase in Decision Simplicity results in a 96 percent increase in customer loyalty. In addition, it helps brands be 86 percent more likely to be purchased and 115 percent more likely to be recommended by others.
As popular as social media sites are, the best form of contact with customers is with a real person. By partnering with a live answering service businesses can rest assured that consumers won't be receiving a generic tweet in response to a question but will be given the opportunity to either speak with a professional customer representative or contact one through email or text messaging services.