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What is Social Media’s Connection to Customer Experience?

This week Loyalty360 published an article titled, “The Future Sees Integration of Social Media and Customer Experience Management,” that, based on a report from Sprinklr and Harvard Business Review Analytics, concludes that organizations aren’t ready to deliver superior customer experiences.

The overarching theme of the report? Integrating social media with customer experience is the single most strategic investment your enterprise can make.

Loyalty360 gauged some views of its members on the importance and role of social media as it applies to delivering a superior customer experience.

Carrie McIlveen, U.S. Director of Marketing for Metia, offered her perspective on the question of social media and its impact on customer experience.

“Social media is no longer merely a marketing channel,” McIlveen explained to Loyalty360. “It’s a customer experience channel. Brands need to focus on engaging their audience and listening to the customer. By doing so, they have the ability to create loyalty and brand advocates.”

Meanwhile, Brennan Wilkie, senior vice president, CX strategy, InMoment, weighed in with his thoughts on the topics.

“Customer experience is a continual conversation and social channels are a critical part of that conversation,” Wilkie told Loyalty360. “However, social media, while viewed as important by nearly all brands, is often used almost exclusively as either a marketing or crisis communication channel. Brands that truly understand customer experience value social as an extremely valuable always-on, always-visible, two-way conversation venue, and tend to do a lot more listening than talking.” 

The report shows that while 86 percent of respondents “strongly agree” that a superior customer experience is crucial to their organization’s success, only 34 percent of companies have the tools and skills needed to rise to the challenge.

Currently, the report, “Anchoring Customer Experience in the Social Experience,” shows that 42 percent of respondents believe that social media is “extremely important” and anchors successful customer experiences. Interestingly enough, the staggering statistic is that in three years that figure balloons to 75 percent.

Sprinklr and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed more than 600 managers and executives from some of the biggest companies in the world. The study found that leading companies have one crucial tactic in common: They integrate social media and customer experience management.

Businesses that can deliver comprehensive customers experiences will enjoy stronger growth and more dominant positions in their markets. What’s more, according to the American Enterprise Institute, 75 percent of today’s S&P 500 companies will be replaced by 2027.

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