The reach of social media has expanded into greater territory as it has become an avenue for almost anything in today’s digital age: a platform for social interaction, shopping or selling, promotions, networking, or a space where customers can talk freely about their brands and the service they provide.
It’s obvious that most brands strive to maintain positive and healthy interactions with their customers online. However, this has become a major challenge as customers who have faced problems with their brands’ services or products have hit a record high – in fact, a “higher proportion them are actively seeking ‘revenge’ for their troubles,” according to an article by the Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, the article explored how the percentage of dissatisfied customers who have taken action against their companies by publicly sharing their criticisms online has tripled since 2020.
The potent role of social media in customer service was explored in the Teleperformance Business Insights Lab Global Insights Survey, where it stated that 40% of consumers posted about their brand’s service on social media in the last 12 months. More and more consumers understand the power of their voices, since the number of consumers posting about their experiences grew by nearly 20% compared to before the pandemic. On average, two-fifths of a brand’s customer base is likely to share their experiences on public online channels.
Let’s briefly explore how customers post their experiences about brands on social media through the Teleperformance Business Insights Lab survey that featured nearly 87,000 interviews with end consumers across 20 different sectors and 16 countries across the globe.
Power to the (Always Online) People
Supporting customers is often perceived as a one-to-one interaction between brands and customers. However, the nature of social media has given customers the power to “spill” out their opinions – good or bad – about a brand or company in public.
The survey showed that 35% of consumers posting on social media do it on the brand’s page or tag the brand, likely seeking a brand’s response to their comment or attempting to force an answer to unsolved issues or their complaints.
However, 63% of consumers share posts in their own pages. Besides personal or brand-owned pages, 14% of consumers posting also resorted to third-party platforms, such as forums, blogs, media outlets, etc., to voice their opinions.
Given the higher percentage of consumers who post about their brands on their own pages, it can be said that their goal is far from seeking a reaction from the brand or company responsible – it’s mostly to target and reach peers, friends, family and their followers, which can easily impact the brand’s reputation.
Sectors like Online Travel Agencies (58%), Online Education (58%), Food Delivery through an app (47%), and Airlines (47%) are more often the target of customers’ posts. Electric Utilities (23%) and Mobile Services (30%) are less susceptible to being the target of posts despite their usual poor service performance. These services have few alternatives for consumers to change, which may discourage consumers to speak up. Nonetheless, the number of customers posting about these services support also grew by roughly 20% since pre-pandemic times.
For younger consumers, social media is more commonly an outlet to express their feelings and experiences, with 52% of Millennials and 46% of Generation Z using it to post about their brand’s service.
Companies and brands must always strive to deliver customer satisfaction, especially at a time when social media has become a powerful avenue for customers to rave – or rant – about their experiences.
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