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Customers hit back with social media

Press Release
KiwiHost New Zealand
14 November 2012

Customers hit back with social media

People under 25 are almost twice as likely to use social media to tell other people about a negative customer service experience.

The annual KiwiHost Customer Service Pulse of more than 600 people from throughout New Zealand reveals that business needs to pay attention to the growing power of social media – particularly as a customer service tool.

KiwiHost Managing Director, Jared Brixton, said that unsurprisingly social media in younger (under 25’s) respondents is becoming increasingly important in how they communicate their feelings.

“It is now twice as likely for under 25’s to use this medium than our over 25’s. This is only going to take on more significance as this sector gets older and their younger peers start comingthrough as a buying force.

“Forty-Seven per cent of all respondents prefer to rely on family and friends’ recommendations when considering using a business or organisation for the first time, while 30 per cent will search for reviews / information online. For example, review-based websites and social media websites.

“Only 22 per cent said they would consult a company’s own website.”

Mr Brixton said the growing power of social media is significant because 35 per cent of respondents said they would tell between four and six people about a bad experience, while 19 per cent said they would tell 10 or more people!

“There’s no end of stories about how you don’t get a second chance to get it right on social media, before hundreds or thousands know about it. The damage it could do your brand is tremendous – social media is making personal customer service more important than ever before,” he said.

It is now very clear from KiwiHost’s research conducted over the last three surveys (these questions were first introduced in the 2009 survey) that Kiwis generally are very reluctant to complain directly to an organisation after a bad customer service experience.

“Forty per cent of respondents indicated that they either always or almost always complained directly to the business concerned. Only 11 per cent of respondents indicated they always complain after a bad customer service experience, whilst three per cent said they never complain.

“So what do respondents do, if they are not complaining directly to an organisation? They tell others and with social media, that ‘others’ figure can number in the hundreds of thousands.”

Mr Brixton said it’s all the more reason for organisations to ensure their frontline staff are consistently delivering superior customer service.

“Once our respondents had experienced a negative customer service experience, how many chances do they give an organisation before looking to take their business elsewhere? Most of our respondents indicated they will only give an organisation one or two chances before they start looking at taking their business elsewhere,” he said.


About KiwiHost

KiwiHost are New Zealand’s largest provider of customer experience management programmes, with special emphasis on developing people and service skills across a diverse range of industries.

Since 1989 KiwiHost has developed customer service skills for more than 50,000 businesses. All this experience has taught KiwiHost that a real customer service experience is what people are looking for. The one thing that customers want most is to connect with the distinct business personality, and the only way to do that is through a company’s own personal brand of customer service.

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