Social media has often been promoted as a way for brands to hear what customers are saying about them. However, it appears that many brands aren’t listening.
According to a YouGov survey (commissioned by social media monitoring company Brandwatch) brands are ignoring advice offered by consumers on Twitter and Facebook.
The survey, which questioned more than 2,000 British consumers about brand interaction, found that over a third of those who interact with brands through social media do so to complain.
However, education, not humiliation, is the greatest motivator for complaints. More than half of the respondents admitted to complaining because they want companies to learn from their mistakes — compared to the 17 percent who do it to publicly embarrass brands.
“Some people just love to complain — you can’t get away from that fact,” stated Giles Palmer, founder and CEO of Brandwatch. “But what our results also show is that consumers are sharing information via social media because they genuinely want brands to be better at what they do.”
Data from the Customer Service Index (CSI) 2012 (which ran in conjunction with the survey) revealed that although brands have had a year to learn from social media feedback, customer satisfaction levels haven’t improved.
Only three of the 40 brands studied received a score above zero, meaning their customer service experience was successful overall. More than half of all customer service experiences were reported as negative.
Individuals aren’t just turning to social media for complaints though. Forty-four percent use social media to request information. While it’s possible that some respondents didn’t put effort into their search, it can also be assumed that either the information wasn’t clear or easy to locate.
Additionally, more than a quarter of UK adults share information about the things they buy online, and almost one fifth discuss what they think about brands online. Whether positive or negative, engaging with feedback can go a long way to help your online reputation.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.
I'm a customer of Sprouts (Sunnyvale, Ca) but since what I experienced last Monday I will never shop on that store again!!! I went to shop on a nearby store and purchased some items before going to Sprouts. At Sprouts I pick up a few items and on the register the cashier (Reanna) ask me if I have a bag and told her I have. So I slide my card put in my pin then the cashier ask me if she could see my bag. I ignore her because I'm still finishing my payment on the pin pad and also in my mind asking myself why does she wants to see my bag?. She could have said: "may we have your bag so we can put the items inside". Then she ask me again in a loud tone "MAM can I see your bag!" I know other customers heard it but I didn't say anything I just put my grocery bag on top of the counter. The bagger came open my bag. I continue on the pin pad I even press the wrong button so the cashier help me. When I was about to grab my bag the bagger already left he only put the blueberries in and left the rest out while there's a lot of space. it came to me they just want to see what's inside my bag thinking I'm STEALING! Did they find something that belongs to the store ? Nothing! They should be ashamed of themselves! ! I told my husband what happened he wants us to go back to the store to confront the cashier. I'm not that type of person but I will not keep quiet about it. I want others to know. For sure I will never ever come back or do some grocery on any Sprouts Store!
Angry consumer > (
@angry consumer Hi there - I'm sorry to hear about your experience! I can understand how that'd be frustrating. Hopefully it was just a simple misunderstanding, and that you were able to get in touch with the store manager to share what happened and they were able to make things right!
(Sprout Social has no affiliation with Sprouts grocery store)