In recent years, social media has given consumers a voice they didn’t have before. While they could call a company to complain about a product or service, it wasn’t as easy as tweeting a complaint. Customers think that since it’s easy for them to complain on social media, then it is easy for companies to solve an issue on social media too, which isn’t always the case.
Complaining on social media is easy, but I didn’t realize how often it is done. After participating in the #cmworld chat on Tuesday, I now have an idea.
A1. In the U.K. social media complaints increased 8x (!) between Jan ’14 and May ’15 #cmworld
— Jay Baer (@jaybaer) July 28, 2015
I mean, wow. That is a lot of complaining. I get why people do it since it is easy. I can’t sit here and say I’ve never complained on Twitter because I have — unsuccessfully at times I might add — but does it have to happen so often? Do we really get anything out of being really rude and only communicating with brands to complain?
Do we have to be so rude when we complain?
NO! Once again, Twitter and other social media outlets make it easy for complaining, but do people have to be so rude when they do? For example, I ordered the cucumber and tomato salad at Noodles & Company with no tomato — cue everyone thinking I’m weird — and received a salad with broccoli, tomato, and onion. I couldn’t help but laugh and tweeted the following post.
I ordered a tomato & cucumber salad at @noodlescompany & asked for just the cucumber & onion…this is what I got. pic.twitter.com/iHJh6iLuEd
— Lexie Kimball (@LexieKimball) February 3, 2015
I honestly wasn’t looking for anything out of it. I knew someone would get a giggle out of it, which is why I did it. But Noodles responded and I ended up getting two free meal vouchers out of the deal.
Should we only reach out to brands when we have problems?
NO! We have a handful of social media clients and use the social media tool Sprout Social to manage all of them. In Sprout Social, I can go back and look at the conversation a company and individual have had together. If I can see this, imagine the tools big brands use and their capabilities. If I have praised a company in the past before having an issue, don’t you think I’d be more likely to receive “service with an (emoji) smile” as opposed to someone grudgingly helping me via social media?
Should we stop complaining on social media?
NO! Complaints are beneficial to companies. Many companies consider complaints as valuable feedback to improve their products and services. Not only are the complaints beneficial to companies, they are also beneficial to other consumers. I can name a handful of products that I changed my mind about buying after seeing complaints and reviews online.
All-in-all, social media has opened new doors to allow companies to communicate with consumers, but that doesn’t give consumers the right to rip on a brand whenever they get a chance. Try and be positive on social media every once in a while, you never know how it can benefit you in the long run.
I tend to do that, too. Whenever I want to try a new product, I search for reviews first. And when I didn’t like what I’ve read, I won’t buy the product. Sometimes, I’ll just see 1 person rant about a brand on Facebook, and I’d already be convinced that I shouldn’t try that brand, too. You’re right, complaints can be really damaging to a brand. I’ll remember this the next time I’m tempted to tweet a complaint. 🙂