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responding to customer complaints on twitter

Ignore or Reply? The Low Down on Responding to Customer Complaints on Twitter

No doubt if you own a business, you’ve had to respond to less-than-perfect customer feedback from time to time. When it comes in via social media though, what is your practice? Do you respond or ignore negative feedback? Do you vary your response depending on the medium? Well, if you’re on Twitter, I’ve got some interesting research that may surprise you regarding responding to customer complaints…

As the second largest social media platform in the world, Twitter is both loved and hated for its ‘honest’ and sometimes brutal feedback. As writer Jon Ronson has stated many times, what was once a community for people to share their secrets, has now become a battlefield where people – and companies – are often exposed to public shaming and scathing attacks. But just because someone says something negative about your business, doesn’t necessarily make them a troll – and even though you may feel like ignoring or blocking their negative feedback, this is in fact the worst thing you can do for your brand.

When it comes to Twitter, research has confirmed that businesses who positively engage with their audience – including responding to negative feedback – see significant improvements to their brand rating. According to a 2015 research study from Twitter and Applied Marketing Science, it was revealed that customers who received a response from a company were 30% more likely to recommend the brand! Likewise, of those who tweeted a complaint, 69% admitted to feeling more positive about brands who engaged with them.

Twitter Tips for Business

Even better? The study also revealed a willingness to pay more for products or services, based on engagement. This was particularly evident in the US airline industry, where customers who had received prompt replies from the airlines were willing to pay more for their tickets. And it’s not just the airline industry reaping benefits! As you might expect, the results were equally positive across other sectors. According to Twitter’s study, customers who received a Twitter response to their tweets were willing to spend 3-20% more on an average priced item from that business in the future.

To increase your brand reputation and customer satisfaction, it’s recommended that you try to respond to customer queries within 60 minutes – particularly if addressing a negative tweet. According to a 2013 publication from Lithium, the number of Twitter users who expect this kind of speedy response to complaints is a whopping 72%! Understandably, this level of customer service and social media monitoring can be difficult for small businesses, but nevertheless, highlights the importance of a social media presence. If you’re going to be on Twitter, prepare to be diligent with your accounts (and if you’re going on holiday, make sure you have someone to cover it!).

So the next time someone tweets your business – whether positive or negative – make it your mission to respond to them objectively and help resolve their queries. It doesn’t take too much effort and can result in huge benefits to both yourself and your customers