New research from Nuance Care Solutions brings to light a number of interesting statistics on how social media is playing into consumer attitudes:
- 72 percent say they research a company’s customer service reputation online prior to making a purchase.
- 74 percent are actually basing their decisions on who to do business with based on what they find.
- 59 percent use social media to express their frustrations with their customer service experiences.
- Only 33 percent say they think companies take complaints voiced online seriously, though a couple brands in particular were singled out as doing a good job along these lines.
More than all that, though, is the fact that, as the story says, search has impacted how people expect customer service to react to them. Through search, which often leads to social media like blog posts, communities and forums and other such platforms, people are expecting to get helpful answers immediately and are frustrated with customer service experiences.
This study also identifies the gaping void that exists for companies to pay attention to what’s being said about them online and interact there in order to solve problems. Problems are only problems as long as they remain unsolved, and posts with complaints are going to be updated with positive resolutions, but only if someone’s listening and reacting.
Along these same lines, Leigh Householder has a good post up on monitoring Twitter as a way to identify brand reputation management issues that might be floated there before being turned into full-fledged posts detailing all the problems someone has with a company.