Researchers have picked up on an interesting trend which, if left unchecked, could do reputational damage to business brands.
Presenting the findings of Mobility 2012 last week, World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck said more and more consumers were turning to Twitter to complain about the bad service they received.
Goldstuck said the number of adult South Africans using Twitter on their handsets had doubled from 6% to 12% in the last 18 months.
“Twitter has become a complaints channel. This is likely to shape customer care in years to come as consumers exercise the power in their hands,” he said.
Whether it's standing in a long queue or dealing with a rude call centre agent, consumers are more likely to express their discontent on Twitter than follow the official complaints channel set up by business owners.
Conducted by technology research company World Wide Worx and backed by First National Bank, Mobility 2012 is the culmination of just under 2 000 face-to-face interviews conducted in urban and rural South Africa in May and June 2012. The sample included individuals aged 16 plus and was evenly spread across age groups. There was a slight female bias as 52% of individuals polled were women.
To minimise the harm comments made on social networking platforms can do to your business, Head of Social Media at digital agency Quirk Cape Town, Su Little suggest you turn your business social.
“A social business is one that understands its eco-system, leveraging its customers as its marketing tool through positive word-of-mouth by giving as much as it receives,” said Little.
She recommends business owners do the following:
The above steps should translate into customers that feel heard and validated, who will in turn thank the business by spreading positive word-of-mouth messages about the brand and business.