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Poor Service Leads Brits to Scream, Shout and Post on Social

Social media platforms used increasingly for customer service complaints

A stereotypical Brit would likely meet poor customer service with a stiff upper lip; take it on the chin; maintain a sense of decorum. However, according to May 2014 research from Harris Poll for workforce management platform provider ClickSoftware, internet users in Great Britain don’t necessarily fit the stereotype. Indeed, large numbers were willing to drop brands (30%) or even cancel service altogether (34%) if they’d received poor service. While a fair proportion said they felt there was no other alternative than to scream (13%), a larger proportion (15%) opted to vent their frustrations on social media platforms.

This increasing tendency to share bad experiences on social media is something that businesses have been well aware of for some time. Such public forums represent a potential banana skin for firms if they get the response wrong—or even fail to respond at all. Speaking with the BBC in May this year, David Schneider, British comedian, Twitter expert and founder of social media consultancy That Lot, highlighted the awareness that companies now have for such platforms: “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.”

December 2013 research from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services, provides further evidence that this awareness among companies is already quite well established around the globe.

Fully 42% of retail IT and business decision-makers worldwide had already implemented a customer service aspect to their social media strategy, while a further 31% expected to expand this implementation within 12 months, putting customer service near the top of the list of immediate importance.

This is good news for Great Britain’s complaining consumers and might hopefully save a few tears or strained vocal chords.

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