Social media has provided consumers with multiple ways to interact with companies directly and influence peers’ buying decisions. This has put a lot of pressure on businesses to have an active presence social networks. While it’s wise to use social media for customer service, research shows that you shouldn’t give up on more traditional support methods just yet.

The telecommunications company Avaya has revealed that just one in six (or 16 percent) of customers use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to interact with businesses. While this number is expected to increase, phone (84 percent) and email (80 percent) are still the preferred contact method of choice for product and service inquiries.

Also coming in before social media are company websites with 72 percent, face to face at 64 percent, and website FAQs at 54 percent. We should also note that 60 percent of consumers said they would change how they contact an organization depending on where they are and what they’re doing. This is also expected to increase as mobile technology advances.

Despite that, there are several benefits of offering customers a social support option. For example, 50 percent of consumers are more likely to buy products or services from a company that they can contact through social media. Additionally, 56 percent of customers who use social media to interact with a business say they feel a stronger connection.

Customer service is a major focus for brands, especially those already utilizing social media in their operations. Whether you’re already established or new to the social medium, we recommend that you take a look at some of our tips on how to use Facebook and Twitter for customer service. Additionally, you can view more data in the infographic below.

[Via: AllTwitter, Image credit: Sascha Pohflepp]