Complaining is the point of social media isn’t it?

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Social media has given customers a greater voice than they've ever had before.  I mean lets face it, it wasn't that long ago that shows like Watchdog and Points of View were still popular ways of expressing displeasure at your treatment.

For me offering customers the ability to feedback to you on what you're doing well, and of course what you're doing badly, is one of the key benefits of social media.  Think about it.  Firstly you get to hear about their criticism, a level of feedback that would probably have remained hidden to you in the past.  Secondly you get to improve your services based upon this feedback.  Finally you get to improve relationships with customers because they are empowered to co-create products and services based on their input.

All of which makes some new figures showing that a good number of marketers have no idea if their customers are complaining about them online, or worse think they have nothing negative to say.

complaints on social media

There really does seem little excuse for marketers not to know this.  There are lots of tools available to let you build a community on your own site for consumers to interact with you and each other.  If you don't fancy that then you can reach out to them via communities on the likes of Facebook or LinkedIn.  Of all the things that are inexcusable, being in the dark has to be top of the list for modern marketers.

7 thoughts on “Complaining is the point of social media isn’t it?

  1. Equally alarming is that if you look at the eMarketer site it says that only 50% or so even bother responding to complaints they do receive. Makes you wonder what on earth the point is doesn't it?

  2. That is baffling. I mean people don't generally complain for the sheer hell of it. They're generally at their wits end and just want something done about the problem they're experiencing. It's a cry for help as much as anything. If you're not listening to those cries and doing something about them then it's a waste of time even being on social media.

    • That's quite right Andrea. I think we have to be realistic about things. If we delete or ignore someones complaint it isn't going to make them feel any better, and it shows to the wider world that we either don't care or don't accept criticism. The only way is to tackle it head on. By going to the effort of trying to help them it shows both the individual and those reading the exchange that you do care about your customers. That in itself is reward enough.

  3. Too many companies are ceding social media channels to their critics, branding experts say. One study found that big companies such as Costco, Kmart and Kroger failed to respond to any of their customers' Facebook and Twitter complaints in September, and Wal-Mart responded to only 60% of complaints. "Companies can't afford to ignore people," says Conversocial CEO Joshua March.
    http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/22/face

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