Social media has connected people throughout the world. Between 2005 and 2015, social media usage jumped from 7% to 65% for all American adults. This connection has opened the doors of communication and therefore has had a huge effect on commerce. Social media allows the average consumer to research a product online before they make a purchase. During their research of a product, reading a previous customers review can greatly impact their decision to make a purchase. A business needs to monitor and quickly respond to these customer reviews, especially the negative ones.
According to a July 25, 2015 article by Invesp entitled The Impact of Online Reviews on Customers’ Buying Decisions, 90% of consumers will read online reviews before visiting a company’s website. Of the 90%, an astonishing 88% of consumers will trust these reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.
Negative comments about a company can be catastrophic. After reading a negative online review, 86% of consumers will reconsider the purchase, while positive reviews will encourage it. The effects of online opinion can be seen on Yelp where a one-star increase will average between a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue.If a company receives just one negative review it will lead to a loss of as many as 30 potential customers.Ignoring reviews online is not a good idea. Failure to respond to complaints posted on social media can lead to a 15% churn rate of current customers.
So, what exactly can a company do to stop the bleeding of revenue from negative reviews?
View the complaint, talk to the consumer, and try to fix the issue.
According to a Forbes.com article, Why Ignoring Social Media Complaints Is a Huge Mistake, 89% of consumers will begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience and 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question or complaint before they stop doing business with them altogether. If a customer complains on a more popular social media site, such as Facebook or Twitter, they expect to receive a response within the hour.
It is often beneficial for a business to find customer complaints and attempt to satisfy the customer. Companies that seek out and respond to customer service requests on social media can expect an increase in sales. Satisfied customers will spend up to 40% more with that company than other customers who are not being engaged on social media. It would seem that simply responding to the complaints about your business would be the solution.
However, noticing the complaint even exists is a more difficult task.
Each year we complain about specific companies 879 million times on social media. Of those complaints, 289 million of them go completely unanswered. For every one complaint voiced, there are approximately 26 more people with the same complaint that remain silent. What’s the big deal with leaving all of these complaints unanswered on social media? On average it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience. With 33% of customer complaints getting ignored on social media it’s leading to massive lost revenue.
According to a study based by Evolve24, a company that specializes in social media analytics, approximately 70% of customer service complaints made on Twitter go completely unanswered. From those who did receive a response on Twitter, 83% said they liked or loved hearing from the company and only 4% did not like the reply from the company. Approximately three in four people were very or somewhat satisfied with the company’s response.
Monitoring the social space is not an easy challenge. Social networks reach far beyond the more popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Depending on your business sector there can be many hundreds of different networks all of which customers can leave feedback on for other consumers to read. For example, there are 40 top travel blogs and hundreds of top blogs for credit cards. It may seem daunting to monitor all these different networks attempting to find people who are possibly complaining about your business, but any one of these complaints can have a huge negative effect for a company.
Now, which companies are receiving the most complaints?
In 2014, the most complained about industries included auto dealers, banks, retail, and general contractors with 34% of complaints dealing with customer service and billing, and 21% of complaints from service and delivery.
The most common customer complaint comes from customer service. “You don’t seem to care” comes in as the number one customer complaint. Followed by “I’ve been waiting here forever!” and “I bought your product but it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.”
Generally, industries that deal with customer service are most likely receiving complaints on social media.
What does this mean for small business?
According to a recent report 97% of all consumers search for a local business online and 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media. A strong web presence is critical to a company’s success. There are over 1 billion smart-phone users and 40% of all mobile searches are for local businesses.Since 86% of all consumers will reconsider their purchase after reading an online negative review, it’s easy to see how important it is to keep your online negative reviews at a minimum.
Is there help for small business?
There are customer complaints alerting services that are tailored to small businesses, efficient and provide real time alerts notifying the business owner when any customer complaint is posted on social media.
If you are looking for a solution to customer complaints posted on socialmedia, the author of this article recommends Promero (http://www.promero.com )