There’s a cultural stereotype – not entirely inaccurate (see: “stiff upper lip”) – that the British are too polite to truly express what they truly feel. Well, that is quickly changing – at least when it comes to what UK consumers are posting on social media and online review sites.
According to new research from Harris Poll and ClickSoftware, approximately 15 percent of Internet-using consumers in Great Britain are using social media to rant and vent their frustrations over poor customer service by local businesses and brands. That – or they’re yelling (13 percent), lying (9 percent), or crying (4 percent).
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“This increasing tendency to share bad experiences on social media (including online review sites) is something that businesses have been well aware of for some time,” reads an analysis on eMarketer. “Such public forums represent a potential banana skin for firms if they get the response wrong, or even fail to respond at all.”
Why are consumers going online to express their feelings and voice their opinions? Social media consultant David Schneider offers an explanation: “If you’re 29th in the queue on a phone call, only you know that. It’s you and the person who’s keeping you on hold. But if you tweet, it’s public, and it could be picked up, and I think companies are very aware of that.”
The report asserts, however, that the first action that UK consumers usually take after receiving bad service is to talk to a supervisor (46 percent). Whatever the channel is, it is imperative for business owners, marketers, and managers to engage with these consumers and respond accordingly. That’s because the second and third most popular course of action for the Brits is to cancel the service (34 percent) and drop the brand (30 percent). So, if you still think that it’s okay NOT to respond to negative reviews and comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, think again.
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