Tom Levers

Are you listening?

Research Study Advises Companies to Respond Via Social Media

It’s no secret that social media has revolutionized how consumers communicate with businesses. Instead of complaint letters exchanged over weeks, a quick 140-character tweet can garner a direct response within minutes. A recent poll conducted by Maritz Research found that frequent Twitter users who have used the social media tool to complain about their customer experience with a company overwhelmingly want those companies to be listening to their comments. And, these tweeple want their public complaints addressed.

According to the study, while only 1/3 of these respondents actually received some type of follow-up after they tweeted their complaint, 83 percent of survey participants who received a follow up to their tweet said they liked or loved hearing from the company they complained about. And just under 75 percent of those people who received a response were very or somewhat satisfied with the response they received. A little more than 15 percent said they were either very or somewhat dissatisfied with the company’s response.

For the two-thirds of respondents who didn’t receive an answer to their complaint, a similar number, 86 percent, also would have liked or loved to hear from the company. However, a striking 63 percent said they would hate or not like it if the company contacted them about something other than their complaint.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Consumers expect companies to understand their individual wants and needs. If that’s responding to a complaint via Twitter, YouTube or the old-fashioned phone call, businesses need to have the right tools ready to listen, understand and respond.

Methodology: Maritz Research conducted its Twitter study which it surveyed an online panel of 1,298 US consumers, who had pre-identified themselves as Twitter users who frequently tweet, had complained via Twitter about a company with whom they do business, and who were at least 18 years of age. The survey had a maximum sampling error of 2.7 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

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