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Customer complaints on social media ignored

Too many companies still think of social media as a marketing communication tool and ignore the fact that it is now the preferred method for many customers to make complaints

A.T. Kearney’s Annual Social Media Survey has shown that a whopping 70% of complaints are going un-answered, presenting companies with worrying reputational issues.

The fact that so many brands are failing to recognize social media in their customer service strategies is a clear signal that they are finding it difficult to move beyond a simple broadcast mode of marketing to one based on dialogue.

Source: Dilbert

Businesses, large and small, must respond to complaints made on social media to protect their reputation and take full advantage of the word-of-mouth marketing potential of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Complaints made through social media are viewable globally, and have the potential to wreak havoc with a brand’s reputation if not handled correctly:

  • A consumer backlash led to Bank of America Corp. canceling a $5-per-month fee for debit card users
  • When Harlem resident Minhee Cho ordered a small pizza from a Papa John’s restaurant, she was shocked to find that a staffer ID’d her as “lady chinky eyes” on her receipt
  • BP was under heavy social media attack in the wake of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Sony came under bushfire for raising prices on Houston’s music in the UK
  • Netflix users protest against proposed price increases with social media
  • Twinings changed the flavour of the popular Earl Grey and its drinkers where rising in revolt against Twinings

While social media isn’t the only medium that businesses can engage customers, it is becoming a more and more popular medium that businesses need to keep track of. If people are having conversations about the business and the business isn’t there to chime in and represent its own interests, then the business is allowing those people to shape the conversation about its brand and culture. Needless to say that isn’t an ideal situation for the business.

Social media has proven to be a great vehicle to ensure customer satisfaction over the last few years. Companies that identify this are able to turn issues, something that’s considered negative, into positive outcomes right in front of the public eye.

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Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland View full profile

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