Nearly six in ten CEOs (57%) expect social media to become a dominant method of engaging with customers over the next five years, more than triple the 16% who say social media is now a top way to engage customers, according to a study by IBM.
Among the CEOs surveyed, face-to-face interaction via sales and other organizational representatives (80%) is now the most dominant method of engaging with customers.
However, CEOs expect customer interaction via social media over the next five years to surpass websites (55%), channel partners (38%), and call centers (31%) to become the second most popular way to interact with customers.
Such changes in customer interaction will likely come at the expense of more traditional channels, particularly traditional media, which is expected to decline some 61% over the next five years.
Below, additional findings from the 2012 IBM CEO Study.
Gaining Customer Insights Tops CEOs' Priorities
Across all aspects of their organizations—from financials to competitors to operations—CEOs are most focused on gaining insights into their customers: 73% are making significant investments in their organizations' ability to draw meaningful customer insights from available data.