Way back in 2014, I wrote about how social media had become one of the Big Three customer service channels, joining phone and email as the preferred method of customer contact.
Fast forward to 2017 and not only do customers expect companies to provide customer services via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but they are also quick to call them out when they fail.
Sprout Social, a leading provider of social media management, analytics and advocacy solutions for business, explores this “culture of call out” in its Q3 2017 Index. Call-Out Culture: People, Brands and the Social Media Power Struggle surveyed more than 1,000 consumers to reveal the prevalence of this culture for the everyday consumer, how it impacts their purchasing decisions and what brands can do to turn it around.
The Q3 2017 Sprout Social Index found that people feel empowered by social media to take a stand in the face of injustice – only 8% of people would stay silent if they saw inappropriate behaviour from a brand. Other key findings reveal:
- Millennials are leading the call-out culture: They are 43% more likely to call out a brand on social media than other generations.
- Consumers are especially motivated to call out brands when they lie: 60% of consumers say dishonesty causes them to call out brands on social.
- A single call out has a domino effect, but consumers won’t make blanket assumptions: 65% of people will think twice about buying from a brand after they see someone else call out the brand on social, but they also want to do their own research first.
- A poor response is worse than no response: Nearly 50% of people say they’d never buy from a brand again after that brand responds poorly to their complaint, compared to 35% of those who don’t get a response.
- A helpful response can win customers back: 45% of consumers would go back to social media to highlight the positive interaction if a brand responds well to a call out.
“Call-out culture has brought to the forefront the shifting power dynamic between brands and consumers,” said Scott Brandt, CMO of Sprout Social. “When people can share bad experiences within seconds on social, they have increasing influence to shape the media cycle and stories about brands’ behaviours. And while the wrong response can haunt a brand forever, the right response empowers brands to take control of the story in front of a uniquely attuned audience. Ultimately, brands that take responsibility, respond quickly and authentically, and apologise when necessary will come out on top.”