A new report suggests UK consumers consider social media a viable option for making complaints. Image courtesy of Franco Bouly/Flickr.com
A survey of 2000 UK consumers reveals that social media now ranks as a go-to platform for making complaints about a company’s products or services.
Commissioned by eGain
, then cloud and on-site customer interaction software provider, and conducted by Vision Critical, the survey asked consumers to rank the avenues they'd use to make complaints in order of preference.
Channels included letter, email, phone call, social media, or web chat.
Key findings from the survey:
- Social media makes its mark - 5 percent of 18-35 year olds use Twitter or Facebook before resorting to any other means of communication.
- Email reigns supreme - 47 percent of UK consumers will go online (email and web
- chat) to complain about a product or service rather than choose traditional methods of placing a phone call (33 percent) or writing a letter (17 percent). Email proved the most popular channel with 3 out of 4 consumers selecting email as a top two preference.
- Generation gap - Despite the rise of the silver surfer, 18-35 year olds
- are almost twice as likely to use the web as their first port of call to make a complaint (61 percent) compared to those aged 55 or older. Traditional forms of communication (letter, phone call) become significantly more popular in older age groups.
Andrew Mennie, general manager of eGain EMEA, commented: “We’re seeing a distinct ‘butterfly effect’ as consumers choose to air their grievances on social media channels: a small number of vociferous users can have a disproportionately loud voice and viral visibility in social networks.
However, we’d advise organisations not to panic and take a systematic approach in picking whom, when and how to respond.
“As companies look to go social, they should make sure to avoid creating a silo that is not joined up with other interaction channels. Integrating social media into a unified multi-channel service strategy and leveraging a common knowledge platform enables businesses to provide consistent, context-aware and accurate customer service and build loyalty. Moreover, this approach allows them to take explosive social conversations private in a seamless manner, and bring happy endings back to the social cloud.”