Back in March we discussed the implications of customer complaints on social media, advising that the worst thing your company can do is ignore complaints or disable the wall in order to discourage negative customer interactive. Today, we’ll be taking this a step further and looking at the numbers involved in consumer interaction with social media channels and brands.
According to an infographic (below) by Osterholm Digital Marketing Group, 71% of customers who’ve made a complaint via a social media channel have never subsequently been contacted by the company to follow up the complaint. This figure would suggest that many companies still just aren’t getting it.
The power of the medium is becoming well known and it seems that many companies are perfectly willing to ‘cash in’ on the success of social media, but apparently they’re not as keen to put the work in when it comes to customer service.
If you consider that 90% of consumers listen to what their friends say about a brand and 70% even listen to people they don’t know, then it’s easy to see how quickly and irreparably a brand can be damaged. Bearing in mind that only 14% of these trust advertisements, a mere 8% trust celebs and just 27% trust ‘experts’, then the real power of the medium begins to emerge.
Traditional advertising, when compared to social media, just isn’t working anymore; people would much prefer to consider the experience of other people, who they consider to be similar to themselves, than take the word of a company that their product is great.
This, above all else, is incredibly illustrative of the increasingly connected world that we live in. Consumers have others are their most valuable resource and it feels a little like the world is becoming a village in terms of the power of ‘word of mouth’.
Of course, there are also other resources that consumers use, but the overall indication is that these are all based in what other people like them say about a product or company. For example, people are more likely to buy if they have read good consumer reviews online; people trust other people who they feel they can relate to.
This would suggest that companies who enjoy the greatest ROI when it comes to how they present themselves online, are those who are friendly, open and actually put a human touch to their interactions with customers online. Consumers are much more likely to calm down if they have made a complaint and a person with a name comes back to them. Indeed, I have noted that many of the Facebook pages who have the best interaction, followers and engagement are those that use a real name.
By this, I mean that instead of using a page as a company, admins should be added under their own name. This allows customers to believe that they are really connecting with a real human being, and if that person is open and friendly, then all the better. All too often in the past email and telephone-based customer service personnel have been a faceless, staid, over-formal option that just doesn’t translate with social media channels.
Due to its very nature, of interacting on a personal and friendly basis with strangers, people appear to expect the same from companies – and those that practice this are proving to be the winners.
So once again folks, we can’t reiterate enough just how important it is to your company’s success to wrap your head around both the power of the medium and how it should be utilised.
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