Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When Consumers Tweet Complaints, Should Brands Respond?

Consumers view brands that respond via Twitter positively

An interesting article in eMarketer helps us understand how important it is to respond to consumers' complaints. While the article specifically talks about Twitter, the same would surely be the case with other social media platforms. Read more below.

"For many social network users, Twitter is both a water cooler and a complaint department. Although most are there to engage with peers, many consumers are using Twitter to talk about their experiences with brands—and from time to time share their grievances. As more and more brands have joined Twitter, consumers’ expectation for interaction with brands has risen.

According to customer experience research company Maritz Research, nearly half of consumers who tweeted a complaint directed toward a brand expected the company to respond—or at least to read their tweet. However, only a third of those consumers received a tweeted response from the mentioned brand.

Consumers ages 55 and older are particularly expectant of a company to read their complaint on Twitter. Gen Y and Gen X consumers, who tend to be more active on Twitter, were less hopeful that a company would read their complaint—perhaps because they believe those expectations will not be met.

Despite the gap between consumer expectations and brand delivery, consumers are overwhelmingly positive when brands take the time to actually respond to them on Twitter. The Maritz study indicates that 86% of Twitter complainers would have liked or loved to hear from the company regarding their complaints—and out of those who heard back, 75% were satisfied with the company’s response.

Many brands are responding to tweets and mentions in order to maintain their reputations and sustain important customer relationships. According to a Forrester Consulting social media report commission by Dell, 58% of US marketers believe that listening and engaging with consumers through digital media will help with customer perceptions of their brand. Also, 56% said their social media efforts would aid in building long-term customer relationships."

Read more here

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