Social Media

 Twitter says that brands that personalise their conversations with disgruntled customers fare far better at improving brand image and customer retention.

The number of consumers who move to Twitter to express their frustration about products or services received by companies is growing. Twitter research found that customer service interactions on the social media platform have increased by 250 percent in the last two years.

It is an opportunity for brands to convert the initially complaintive response into a positive outcome, leading to customer retention as well as good publicity.

The research found that personalisation is a major factor in order to achieve a positive outcome to complaints-handling. 77 per cent of respondents would recommend a brand if the response included the customer’s name and the customer service team member’s initials or name.

Alternatively, 66 per cent of customers are unlikely to recommend a brand if the conversation was not personalised regardless of the complaint resolution.

After a customer service exchange, companies can see a boost in positive response from their customers, especially towards consumer packaged goods companies (86 per cent), technology organisations, (84 per cent) and retailers (77 per cent).

Twitter research manager Meghann Elrhoul said: “Customers are really looking for a humanised connection. They want to feel that they are talking to a real person and having that personalisation helps add that component.”

Customers were also 20 per cent more likely to reach a resolution and 25 per cent more likely to be satisfied after personalised conversations. As well as individually tailored messages, people are looking for a quick turnaround when resolving their complaints. 60 per cent in the survey saying they expect a response in less than an hour.

The research conducted by Twitter found that, on average, brand response times do not meet this standard at one hour and 24 minutes

Brands need to be willing to invest a little time in solving the complaint itself. The research found an average of five interactions between the company and consumer per inquiry.

One in three issues go unresolved. The brands who do not pay attention to customer complaints are missing out on opportunities to improve their brand image.

“If brands are doing customer service right, they are actually able to help that consumer and turn them around,” Elrhoul said.

“We’ve also seen that in some of our focus groups that consumers will, before they interact with a brand, go to a brand’s Twitter page to see how they are interacting with consumers.”

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