social media

How Social Media Sites Have Given Consumers A Powerful Voice

Use Social Media Sites To Express Your Views

One of the greatest things I think social media sites have done for people, is to force big brands and services to sit up, take notice and have accountability!

Today people don’t think twice to go looking to Twitter for a corporate account of a company if they are having a problem or a question that they need answering. I say this confidently because I personally have done so with 3 large companies in the UK.

Social Media Sites

Let’s be honest, we all get frustrated being on ‘hold’ for a long time, and eventually being transferred to a call centre outside of your geographical area, (if at all) A ‘letter of complaint’ can often fall on deaf ears with response times being less than what we consumers deem acceptable.

Today taking to Twitter and using 140 characters to air our ‘frustrations’ seems to be a far more powerful and effective way to get the attention of the company in question, and more importantly obtain a response in a timely manner.

I’m a BIG fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and to quote him on this subject

“I genuinely believe that any business can create a competitive advantage through giving outstanding customer care”

Like most things Gary speaks about, he’s raising a REAL point.

My Own Experience

I’d like to, if I may, give you a scenario that I was recently in with a large UK parcel delivery company:

I’d been trying to get a parcel delivered to my workplace for over 1 week! Having made numerous calls, checking online, giving crystal clear delivery instructions to the exact location of my office, after 8 days I was starting to get a little bit ‘irritated’ by the whole situation!

Things kind of came to a head when I made a call on day 8 of the parcel not being delivered, and I found myself on the end of a phone line that went dead.

What did I do?

I took to my personal Twitter account to ‘voice’ my upset. Within 10 minutes I had a response from their customer service Twitter team and within 1 hour of that Tweet that I had sent, the problem with the delivery was being sorted as a priority.

Within 1 hour, the company had managed to turn me from an unhappy customer into a pacified customer, happy that finally someone had managed to sort out my problem.

Why Does It Work?

Why do businesses (irrespective of size) respond better to unhappy customers and queries online, than that of a phone call? I’m no expert here, but the fact that you all have a social media footprint, the mud can kind of stick!

Think about it. Anyone searching through Twitter’s dynamic search engine, means that my Tweets would have been seen by ANYONE searching that company name. That makes it VERY important that my complaint was handled in a timely manner.

Because of the speed that social media sites work at, as frequent users of the system we know we are going to get a more swift reply if we use this as our medium to communicate with the businesses in question, but more importantly than that, the businesses can benefit by publicly showing how good they are at delivering good customer service.