Contact centres should address customers' evolving channel preferences and review first contact resolution on the Web, in both emerging and developed countries, according to research firm, Ovum.

A study, Understanding Consumer Challenges in Emerging Versus Developed Economies, aimed at understanding how adoption of social media and smartphones is evolving, surveyed more than 4000 consumers across four developed countries and four emerging countries.

It found that 32 per cent of respondents from emerging countries use social media for customer service, compared with just 10 per cent from developed countries.

According to Ovum, although the results from emerging countries do not entirely represent the behaviour of their populations, the trend is still compelling as the respondents from these countries are more Web savvy than an average individual.

"Web savvy consumers in emerging markets are using social media to ask and respond to questions in communities, as well as to complain about or promote products and services," Ovum customer interaction analyst, Aphrodite Brinsmead, said.

While consumers with greater purchasing power in emerging countries have an inclination to use social media for customer service, and however widely it is talked about in today's market, it is a long way in being used effectively by consumers and enterprises, she said.

According to Brinsmead, only a few customers, across both emerging and developed countries, are able to resolve issues using social media tools because enterprises are not yet doing enough to encourage or support them.

She suggested that vendors should help enterprises integrate social media within their contact center operations although it is not yet a mainstream tool for customer service.

"It makes sense for those in emerging economies to develop better social media and Web self-service capabilities in order to target those consumers who are readily adopting these channels," Brinsmead said.