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Companies place too much emphasis on social media.

In communicating with their customers, most companies have focused too much on social media and appear to be under-investing in mobile and other new communication channels. That's the conclusion of a new study from the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Genesys, that examines how companies are responding to the changing dialogue between customers and companies.

This focus on social media at the expense of mobile platforms suggests that many companies are in reaction mode, responding as best they can to the rapid proliferation of social media, rather than developing a coherent strategy that addresses the spread of mobile technology as well. While social media has grown rapidly over the last 5 years, mobile phone penetration globally is expected to reach 99% this year, according to EIU forecasts.

"The rapid adoption of social media and the huge growth in the mobile market go hand in hand but companies seem very focused on social media as a singular force and don't appear to have grasped how interconnected the two trends are," said EIU deputy editor Annabel Symington.

The study also found that: * Too many companies are reacting to complaints rather than solving the underlying problems. Executives appear focused on responding to customer comments and complaints on social networks rather than addressing the root cause of problems.

* A breakdown in internal communication is the greatest obstacle to a coherent communication strategy. The C-suite and middle management disagree about how to respond to the new communication reality -- and who should be, and is, in charge.

* Communication efforts are too de-centralised. Making a single individual responsible for managing customer communication channels reduces disagreements between senior and middle managers. It also reduces internal confusion and helps companies present a consistent message to customers.

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Publication:Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
Date:Jul 26, 2012
Words:301
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