Call out culture

Social media has opened the door to better engagement between customers and brands.

Through real-time messages and regular engagement, businesses develop stronger relationships with their audience. Unfortunately, the rise of social has also created something called “call-out culture.” This can be an issue for businesses and marketers alike.

Call out culture describes an environment where customers feel empowered to announce their feelings of frustration towards the behavior of a brand or public figure. According to a Sprout Social study in 2017, 46% of customers in the US say that they’ve used social media specifically to call out brands for poor service.

Why do people embrace call out culture?

Call out culture and social media provide today’s consumers with more power to have their voices heard online. In the past, many people felt powerless to stand up to big corporations, as they assumed they’d simply be ignored. However, on social media, audiences can respond to issues like bad customer service, rude in-store associates and bad product experiences with ease. If a company doesn’t respond to negative comments, then other customers can chime in and dominate the discussion around the brand with their negative experiences or comments.

According to the Sprout Social study, the social online world that we live in means that brands need to work harder to deliver exceptional service. It’s crucial to address consumer issues – no matter how small they seem.

It’s also worth being aware of the potential triggers that push individuals towards call out culture too. For instance, the biggest issue that leads to call out culture (60%) is dishonesty.

Do brands need to address call out culture?

According to Sprout Social, 55% of people call out brands on social media to get a response to their issues. Additionally, 35% of customers would never buy a brand product or service again after their inquiry is ignored on social media. This means that companies must be prepared to respond to these situations.

It’s not enough to provide a vague copy-and-pasted response either. 50% of clients say they would boycott a company that responds poorly to a complaint. Around 92% of 18 to 34-year-olds use recommendations from peers to make purchasing decisions. Today’s businesses can’t afford to lose their reputation with audiences.

How to thrive in the age of customer call outs

Now that social media has pushed companies to take greater accountability for their actions online, it’s essential for brands to be prepared for the next call out they face. Some of the things you can do to survive this new culture include:

Though call out culture may seem dangerous, it’s also an opportunity for brands to learn from their customers. With tools like Sprout Social to track the customer journey and support systems in place to address client needs, businesses can turn even dissatisfied customers into brand advocates.

An investment in customer care may be the best way to protect your company in an age when reputation means everything.