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New RightNow Research Signals Growing Influence of Social Media on Consumer Purchasing Decisions

Annual RightNow Survey Also Finds Australians Increasingly Using Mobile Devices to Access the Web, Research Products and Make Purchases

Sydney – 27 July 2011 – According to the 2011 RightNow Australia Customer Experience Report, Australians are rapidly adopting social media and it is influencing their purchasing decisions.  
The survey shows the number of Australians actively using social media (sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) has jumped from 53 percent to 69 percent of the total population in the last twelve months. Additionally, one in four consumers who use social media have made a purchase because of a social web discussion and the number of consumers that want organisations to contact them via social media with special offers and discounts rose to nearly 61 percent (up from 57 percent in 2010).
Brett Waters, vice president Asia Pacific – South, RightNow, said, “It’s been amazing to watch not only the rapid adoption of social media in Australia, but also the consumer’s desire to engage more directly with organisations on the social web.  While good in-person service will always be important, the experiences that customers receive on the web or when conversing on social media are just as critical.  Even more imperative are the interactions customers have with other customers.”
Other key findings regarding consumer expectations and social media include:
  • 39 percent of consumers believe companies listen to customer feedback about their products and services on social networking sites
  • 37  percent welcome responses to positive comments made on social sites
  • 34  percent are happy to be contacted directly by a company after making a negative post
  • 30  percent are happy for organisations to use social media conversations to sell products or services  
Mobilising the communication channel
The survey uncovered another emerging trend among Australians: they are actively using mobile devices as a tool to research and make purchases.
     40 percent of Australians’ use a mobile device to access the Internet
     Just over half of those mobile users (55 percent) use their devices to search for information on the companies they do business with
     32 percent of mobile users report using their devices to make purchases (not including iTunes)
Waters noted, “With the use of mobile devices on the rise, the study suggests that companies need to begin planning to mobilise their customer support efforts or risk being left behind. Australian organisations today are facing a difficult challenge: maintain quality service across traditional communication channels and at the same time implement strategies that embrace the strengths and flexibility of emerging channels such as mobile devices and social media.”
About the survey
The 2011 RightNow Customer Experience survey was conducted in April 2011 by StollzNow Research and involved more than 700 Australian consumers aged between 18 and 65 years. The survey gauged consumer attitudes and experiences across the retail sector and six service industries, including telecommunications, ISPs, insurance, financial services, travel and hospitality, and utilities.
About RightNow
RightNow is helping rid the world of bad experiences one consumer interaction at a time, eight million times a day. RightNow CX, the customer experience suite, helps organisations deliver exceptional customer experiences across the web, social networks and contact centres, all delivered via the cloud. With more than ten billion customer interactions delivered, RightNow is the customer experience fabric for nearly 2,000 organisations around the globe. To learn more about RightNow, go to www.rightnow.com

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