More and more people are taking to Twitter and Facebook to air their views, positive or negative. Which means businesses are being forced to respond in a timely and positive manner—from a customer service perspective—because of the public nature of the platforms.

Without a doubt, forums like these, along with Yelp and others, have forever changed the way consumers interact with businesses. Now, more than ever, there’s pressure to respond to customer complaints in real time on public space.

How popular is this emerging customer service channel? The statistics should make any consumer-oriented service provider take notice. In a recent survey from Baseline Magazine, the emerging trends associated with “social care,” which refers to individuals reaching out to a business via social media, were analyzed. Out of the estimated 2,000 social media users who took the survey, nearly half stated that they had sought customer service via social media. Nearly 30% said they prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service via a social channel compared to the phone. Furthermore, 71% of those who had a positive experience with social care were likely to recommend that brand or company.

As a healthcare service provider, it is especially important that you be aware of what is being posted on your pages, and respond quickly, even if only to acknowledge the customer. Word of mouth is crucial to your business and one negative experience can unfortunately overshadow 10 positive experiences, especially since most people only post on social media when their expectations have been wonderfully surpassed or grossly unmet.

The good news: a well-handled complaint can create a ton of goodwill. Positive, responsive customer service provided via social media shows your patients you are working hard to resolve issues, rather than ignoring the chatter.

These findings are significant enough to make you think more about how you can use your social media channels to help address customer service issues. What experiences—good or bad—have you had with social care? E-mail me at and share your story.

Jessica Clark is an eight-year marketing veteran in the optical industry with a recent focus on social media. 

Jessica Clark


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