There’s no doubt about it, if there’s one thing us Brits love (more than queuing and cups of tea) it’s having a good old moan. According to new research from Sage, more and more of us are turning to social media to complain when we receive poor customer service. Its survey of 2,000 consumers found that one in five of us are using social media to vent our frustrations, yet only 4 in 10 of us ever receive a reply.
I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty poor service in the past. When my internet and TV service went down earlier this summer I called a certain Mr Branson’s helpline to get some help. After being kept on hold for nearly half an hour they cut me off when putting me through to yet another ‘customer experience executive’.
Like a true keyboard warrior I was straight onto Twitter to complain. I wanted all my friends and followers to know how useless they were. However, within 30 seconds of blasting my rant into the Twittersphere their social media team were onto my complaint, requesting my phone number for a call back. I was impressed – they sorted my problems and gave me a month’s free internet to say sorry.
Unfortunately, it seems not all businesses are as savvy. The research shows that 60% of complaints fall on deaf ears – and when you consider that the average Twitter user has 27 followers it’s easy to see why companies should be taking the power of social media seriously.
To take an example of this, earlier this week Easyjet were hounded by thousands of disgruntled Tweeters after denying a blind lady, Joanna Jones, and her guide dog from boarding a flight from Gatwick to Belfast. Within minutes of her request for help it was retweeted countless times and the press were on the case.
It’s a lesson for all businesses – if you’re on social media you need to be proactive, quick off the mark and be prepared to provide good customer service outside of the 9-5. Get it right and you’ll have people singing your praises – get it wrong and you could potentially unleash a storm. After all, your customers are your livelihood.