Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bad Customer Service and Social Media: A Volatile Mix

I've noticed some rants on Twitter about some people not receiving responses by companies for customer service and then not having a social media presence to even try to reach, which got me thinking about a blog post I wrote for my company blog in June 2011. Sadly for consumers, the data I had pulled regarding customer service was updated in March 2012 and nothing has changed.

customer service - first world problem
  • 64% of respondents said that during the past 12 months they had left a store because service was poor
  • 67% had hung up on customer service without having had their problem addressed
  • Only 16% of respondents preferred to deal with a customer-service problem face-to-face.
The report urges consumers to try reaching out to brands on social media for responses. However, as my Twitter feed shows, some companies still don't see the value in monitoring those accounts.

As I said in my original post, once a consumer has exhausted their avenues to reach the brand, they will seek out information from other consumers. What's worse than one unhappy customer venting to the world with no response or engagement? A whole gaggle of them seeking each other out to crystallize their disdain for your brand by sharing in their tribulations . As from my old post...

"Let’s not lose sight of the fact that brand loyalty hinges on maintaining that relationship beyond the initial transaction. If I’ve exhausted all of the brand’s resolutions with no positive results, I’m not too keen on buying into that brand in the future. More likely since I’ve already located a sounding board for the product concern, I’m going to tell others how bad my experience was with the brand. Due to the far-reaching and quick dissemination of information via social networks, one nasty tweet could easily turn into a PR nightmare [haven't there been enough of these in the past year to get companies to take notice?!]. Companies need to seek out user-generated content based on their brand/products and take appropriate action to resolve issues (or just take an interest if not needing to respond to negativity)."

Don't give customer's a reason to complain about your lack of service on social media. First you should make every effort to not let a customer leave your store, website or hotline without a resolution. Then get a social monitoring tool, get Google alerts and/or Twilerts and be responsive!