One in four consumers who contact a consumer affairs department to either register a complaint or ask a question are also posting comments on social media sites. This is a significant increase compared to a year ago when the number was one in five and is one of the key findings in the 3rd Annual Social Media Benchmarking Study conducted by The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR). The study included feedback from approximately 17,000 consumers about their use and impressions of social media platforms. The consumers who participated in this study had reached out to major Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies during the last 12 months.
Other interesting findings included:
- Seventy-four percent of consumers visit social media sites via their PC or Mac, 39% via cell phone and 9% from their iPad/tablet. With 48% of the consumers visiting social media sites from their mobile devices, this reconfirms the importance of providing a positive mobile experience for all customers.
- The percentage of consumers providing feedback on products and services on social media sites increased from 12 to 16% over the last year. Consumers understand the importance of, and are being much more proactive about providing feedback. Companies must be sure to both monitor for and respond, whenever appropriate, to this feedback on all social channels, not just their own platforms.
- The percentage of consumers who will stop purchasing a product or service due to a negative social media post slightly increased from 15 to 18%. This trend underscores the importance of investing in customer service to maintain consumer loyalty and to monitoring and responding to all consumer feedback, including negative posts. Often, a negative post can be an opportunity to display a company’s quick and effective resolution of customer concerns.
- Once a consumer has ‘followed’ a company on Facebook, 32% of respondents say they view company/brand information from their newstream. 28% prefer to re-visit the Company Page and 40% do a combination of both. Since not all content will reach consumers, companies need to make sure they are sharing valuable content and consistent messaging on a regular basis across multiple channels.
- Slightly more than half of the participants reported that a company had responded to a social comment they posted referencing a specific brand. This confirms that companies are investing in social media monitoring software to uncover and engage with customers. This is important since 95 % of the consumers consistently felt positively or neutral about a company responding to their post.
The underlying message from this study is that when companies deliver superior service and make their customers feel welcomed, important and appreciated, a large percentage of those customers will share that information with the rest of their social media community. These findings reconfirm the value of Consumer Affairs and Customer Service Departments and underscore the critical role these departments play in any company’s success.
For information on participating in TCFCR’s 4th Annual Social Media Benchmarking Study, please contact us.