Nearly a century ago, if a customer had a complaint or problem with anything they would contact the company’s complaints or customer service department.
No doubt resolving the issue swiftly and without fuss – at least if the company was successful.
Now everything has changed, social media has lead to many companies facing complaints that have been aired publicly. Complaints can now be expressed not only to a wider community of friends on one felll swoop of a status update but also to the much wider web on twitter or any consumer website.
No longer are complaints only powered by word of mouth to a few nearby friends and family members. Now, these complaints spread rapidly online and have the potential to become viral and even global.
Complaining online also alleviates having to sit on hold waiting to speak to a customer service assistant.
Social media is instant and an effective channel for consumers to express their complaints. Even email is used less often when making a complaint in favour of social media.
So in theory if one customer has a bad experience and uses a social media site to express this opinion – then all of that persons friends, relatives and contacts of all kinds can see this complaint.
And now fuelling the fire, the ability to comment, sharing it with their friends, or even sharing it on a whole new social networking site, with just the click of a button. Now your one irritated customer has turned into possibly thousands.
When a complaint is made on a social media site, your job is no longer to just make that one person happy again by addressing their complaint – now your company has to work even harder to combat the bad press created, and create good experiences that people will talk about online.
The bottom line is stay involved in with social media, be pro-active when communicating with your customers and promote two-way communication – which will help you stay up to date with what’s going on with your company’s reputation.