A third of customers take to social to vent service frustrations

Natalie Steers
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Customers whinging and complaining too much over Twitter? A third of consumers now reportedly take to social media to expose bad customer service and failure to respond effectively is “reputation suicide”.

That’s according to a YouGov survey of over 2000 UK consumers, commissioned by Sirportly, which showed that this figure rises for those under aged under 35 (55%) who are attempting to ‘get revenge’ on a company for delivering inadequate customer service.

Three times more people use Facebook to vent about bad customer service than Twitter, the findings showed. However, Facebook users were shown to experience fewer customer service problems than users of other social media sites (34% of Facebook users, 40% across the social media board).

Adam Cooke, creator of Sirportly, said: “Not responding to customers effectively over social media platforms is reputation suicide. With the impact of word of mouth via social media getting stronger by the day, it’s getting more and more important to both avoid annoying customers in the first place and to be able to defend your brand when it’s being publicly bad-mouthed.”

However, despite this, companies shouldn’t run and hide from Facebook and Twitter. The survey showed that nearly half of customers use social channels to make an online purchasing decision, providing an invaluable opportunity for brands to engage with customers.

Steve Hurn, CEO of social commerce company Reevoo, commented: “Brands will not want to hear that over a third of consumers are publically complaining about bad customer service to their social networks, it can strike fear into the heart of brand managers that are not digitally and socially savvy.

“However the way to deal with this is not to stick your head in the sand and hope your brand doesn’t come under fire, but rather to ensure you have honest and verified reviews of your products and services online. This research reveals that there’s a desire for consumers to make their feelings known to brands, and if you don’t proactively request consumer feedback you tend to get only the extreme views – people with an axe to grind – which is not a true reflection of your brand or service.”


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15th May 2013 17:42

Would it be possible to have the date of the survey -

I assume it is quite recent but would like clearer info to refer to it -

Thank you



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20th May 2013 10:24

Appleby, you can email me at adamwinfield [at] championcomms.com for more info.


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