In yet another example of companies still not getting it when it comes to social media comes the findings of a survey which revealed that over 70% of all customer complaints sent to companies via Twitter fall on deaf ears.
I first read about this on Jay Baer's blog in which Jay referenced the findings from a survey conducted by the research company, evolve24. The one finding that hit me over the head, and apparently Jay too based upon his headline, was the one that showed that 71% of complaints directed toward a given company via Twitter go into the proverbial black hole. In other words... IGNORED!
This is nothing short of astonishing. Yes I am being melodramatic but I am trying to make a point. And my point is that far too many companies still don't get it when it comes to social media. Just the other day, I wrote a post highlighting some of the findings from the recent IBM 2011 Global CMO Study including the fact that CMOs recognize the importance of social media. Back in August I told you Why Twitter Matters To Marketers Now More Than Ever. But it would appear that as much as CMOs say they "get it" when it comes to social media and how important it is, it's mostly lip service.
How else can you explain that just 29% of those sending a complaint via Twitter received a reply? Look at the combined percentages of how people felt when a company actually responded to a Tweet, 83% "loved" or "liked" it. Hello McFly, what does that tell you? It tells me that people like and appreciate the fact that a company is listening to them and not just talking at them, telling of the latest sale or whatever. Or is this a case of companies being asleep at the wheel? Are companies on Auto Tweet so to speak? Either way, whether it's apathy or absence it's wrong, with a capital W.
And remember, less than 1% of consumers actually use Twitter to file a complaint or get a problem resolved, as per research from ExactTarget, Twitter X-Factors. In other words, people are going to other channels to voice their displeasure BEFORE coming to Twitter and when they so, nearly 3/4 of companies are either not listening or don't care enough to respond. Amazing...
Look, ignoring the complaints won't make them go away. You can hold your breath til your blue in the face but those same people with the same complaints who want answers will still be there when you come up for air. Here's the thing boys and girls and I told you about this when I wrote about Social Media's Dirty Little Secret. Social media, for all its benefits is not some magic elixir that will cure all your ails. If your product stinks, it stinks. As Jay put it so well in his post "Social media doesn't create negativity, it puts a magnifying glass to it."
There's one additional finding from the survey I want to share with you and it has to do with what demographic who likes hearing from companies the most via Twitter...
Seeing how women...
- Make 80% of consumer buying decisions (and influence the other 20%)
- Will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. in the next 10 years
- Make 80% of home improvement decisions
- Spend more than $55 billion annually on consumer electronics
- Account for 65% for all new automobiles sold
- And buy 66% of computers...
It may be a good idea for companies to start responding to complaints sent to them via Twitter, but especially if they come from women!