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Digital Natives More Likely to Complain about Customer Service via Social Media

February 11, 2014

The customer is always right, and businesses that run afoul of that tenet are more and more likely to have unhappy customers argue their case in a public forum via social media and the Internet, according to a recent study.

The survey, commissioned by NewVoiceMedia (News - Alert), found 64 percent of those surveyed preferred traditional forms of communication such as email and phone for complaining and receiving a fast response.

However, huge generational differences were uncovered, with more than a quarter of Gen Y and millennials (ages 16 to 34) reporting they believe social media is the most effective means of issue resolution, with Facebook (News - Alert) as the favored social network for interacting with businesses.

In fact, nearly 60 percent (59.3 percent) of 25-34 year-olds are likely to complain via social media, Internet forums and review channels. As one survey respondent explained, “The risk of getting other people's attention will cause the service providers to act quickly.”

That is a powerful message to companies vying for the spending power of these emerging generations.

“Not long ago, customers would tell friends and family if they were dissatisfied with service they’d received,” said Jonathan Gale, CEO at NewVoiceMedia, a provider of cloud contact center technology. “While this is damaging to a brand, it’s not nearly as powerful and immediate as customers who take their complaints online; particularly as consumers are increasingly turning online to read about others’ experiences before choosing a product or supplier. Over the next few years we expect to see these statistics soar as the younger generation matures.”

Across all generations, about a third (34 percent) of U.S. consumers said they will complain online following inadequate customer service. Seventy percent of respondents said good service influenced their loyalty and 69 percent would recommend the company to others.

“Customers want personalized and engaging experiences every time, through every channel,” Gale said. “Great customer experience is the critical differentiator and by doing it well, organizations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful.”

Survey data was drawn from the responses of 2,030 adults from the United States.




Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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