Vistage members don’t need to be told about the importance of using social media to engage with clients and customers. However, not using them properly can be more damaging than not using them at all. According to the Eptica Social Customer Service Study, 83% of the public who had used social media channels to complain were unhappy with the results.
Based on a survey of 2000 consumers in the UK and France, Over a quarter (26%) of Britons are complaining more now they can use social media to communicate with companies – but organisations simply aren’t listening. A significant 17.5% of their complaints are left unanswered and an enormous 83% of those who have complained are unhappy with the response they received.
When asked why they used social media to complain, nearly a quarter (22%) of people said they believed they would receive a quicker response – but they are being let down by businesses. The research found that companies are ignoring simple questions as well as complaints – four out of five consumers (81%) didn’t get an acceptable answer to their questions asked on social media.
‘Customers are embracing social media for customer service – but the vast majority of companies are deaf to what they are saying,’ said Dee Roche, global marketing director, Eptica. ‘Our research uncovered a real desire by consumers to use the speed and immediacy of social media to interact with companies only to see their requests shockingly ignored. Not answering basic questions is essentially slamming the shop door in the face of potential customers. Social media provides a megaphone through which complaints aired by unhappy customers can quickly escalate. Companies need to put in place a proper strategy for social customer service, before consumers vote with their feet.’
Eptica offer outsourced social customer services and it is in their interest to flag up how poor use of social media channels can damage brands. Even taking that into account, the survey underlines that simply having a YouTube channel, Twitter or Facebook account is not enough – if you use these methods to communicate with your clients then you have to listen to what they are saying.