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Consumer Study: 88% less likely to buy from companies who ignore complaints in social media.

By Anna Drennan on Dec 19, 2011 6:47:00 PM

Today we can unveil the results of a consumer survey, commissioned by Conversocial and conducted by Assistant Professor of Communications Liel Leibovitz at New York University: The Consequences of Ignoring Your Customers, A Survey of Consumer Expectations for Customer Service on Social Media Platforms

The study looks at consumers’ sentiments and expectations concerning interactions with companies on social media platforms.  (It follows our research on Retail Outlets Ignoring Their Customers, which revealed that over 65% of genuine questions and comments were missed by the largest retail brands.)

The future of communication between companies and their customers lies in social media. A majority (50.7%) of consumers currently use social media to communicate with corporations. Moreover, 78% of respondents believe that social media platforms would either soon entirely replace other means of customer service altogether or become the dominant way for consumers to communicate with corporations.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the study’s key findings:

  •  High Rate Of No Response: Of those respondents who have communicated with companies on social media sites, nearly a third (32.5%) were either neglected or altogether ignored. 

  • Price of Neglecting Customers: If ignored by companies on social media sites, 45% said they’d feel anger, and 27.1% said they’d stop doing business with the offending company altogether.
  • 88% Less Likely To Buy: If confronted with unanswered customer complaints on a company’s social media site, 88.3% of respondents said they’d be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to buy from that brand.

  • Low Level of Current Consumer Satisfaction with Companies’ Social Media: Nearly a third of respondents, or 32.4%, characterized their overall satisfaction with the way companies use social media sites to communicate with customers as either poor or very poor, while 59.6% expressed guarded optimism for future positive developments in the field and only 8% were thoroughly satisfied. 

“While social media sites are a growing frontier of consumer-corporate interaction, most respondents reported inadequate response times, unanswered queries, and unmet expectations,” according to Assistant Professor of Communications at NYU, Liel Leibovitz.  “Most respondents were also adamant that such behavior would have some or much effect on their future decision to do business with offending corporations.”

Clearly, social media isn’t just a passing fad which can be ignored by companies in denial. To read about our respondents' attitudes and expectations in full, you can download the full study here. 

Learn more about how Conversocial can help companies to deliver effective social customer service here.

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