Got a Complaint with Brands? Take It Up on Social Media

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A recent survey finds many people say it increases accountability for businesses

Data from social media analytics and monitoring service Sprout Social revealed that many US internet users believe social media has given them more of a voice to expose unfair treatment from brands and be more critical of them in general.

The study, which surveyed 1,003 US internet users ages 18 to 64 in July 2017, found that eight in 10 respondents said social media helped to uncover instances of brands treating people unfairly. And seven in 10 said that it helped encourage transparency.

For the most part, dishonesty and bad customer service led many internet users to complain about brands on social media. But those weren’t the only reasons. Troubles with a bad product, brands being too political and a lack of responsiveness also triggered some respondents to air frustrations about companies on social media.

Actions Taken by US Internet Users if a Brand Ignores or Reacts Poorly to Their Complaint on Social Media, July 2017 (% of respondents)

While a majority of respondents voiced concerns on social media to raise awareness among consumers, many did so to either get an apology or solution from the brand.

But as it turns out, an unhelpful response from brands is sometimes considered worse than no response at all.

In fact, 50% of those polled said they would never buy from a brand again if it responded poorly to their complaint. Nearly as many said a bad response via social media increased the possibility that they would share their experience with friends.

This article first appeared in www.emarketer.com

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