Here are five tips for responding to your customer’s complaints on Twitter

An immediate package, a blocked bank account, disconnection from internet service … Increased digitization of services is accompanied by increasing customer complaints. For example, the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) complaints increased by 37% in 2020 compared to 2019, the following year 14%. Currently, barriers to Internet networks are still growing in large cities such as Paris or Grenoble.

Social media like Twitter or Instagram makes it easier than ever to share our opinions, our encounters, but our complaints to the company. When these become public, companies become increasingly cautious when dealing with problems to avoid losing customers and leading other consumers to competitive brands. Whether it’s posting a negative review or an inflammatory message that goes viral, businesses have a vested interest in responding to these messages to avoid any further negative impact on their brand.

So many companies are working to capture and respond to more complaints online. For this, customer relationship services rely exclusively on capturing tweets or even using artificial intelligence solutions that suggest replies and / or send automated messages.

However, our recent research has been published The SAGE Handbook of Social Media Marketing Shows that more than 75% of the negative tweets sent to these companies went unanswered, which is 50% more than in 2015. For this study, we collected about 20,000 complaints on Twitter from the three major telecom operators in just one month. Naturally, then, the question arises as to what consumers themselves can do to get the company’s attention and feedback.

“Hey Paul, can you give me milk? A

In our research, we investigated which features of the message were most likely to elicit a response from the company. In the next section, we look at five tips that can help you maximize your chances of getting feedback on Twitter:

1. Use

The way we address someone affects their ability to attract attention. For example, if you say “Can you give me milk?” Instead of “Hey Paul, can you give me milk?” 6, it is clear that the second message is addressed to the person in a more direct way. In this example, Paul is more likely to respond to the second message than the first.

We can apply this same idea to social media. The more directly the addressee is addressed, the greater the likelihood of a response. An account reference (@) will weigh more than a hashtag (#) which in itself will be more effective than a general reference in the text.

However, avoid overdoing it, as adding too many items again reduces the chances of getting a response. In fact, the company may consider that you are targeting different profiles.

2. Send a negative tone message

Companies want to avoid being associated with negative tweets. Indeed, previous research has shown that these messages can negatively affect their performance. In addition, online customer interaction can be a “firestorm” if other users join the complainant in their review.

A negative message is 66% more likely to get a response than a 17% for a positive message.

Companies may therefore choose to focus their response to these negative tweets. Our analysis also confirms this trend because we show that negative messages are 66% more likely to respond to a positive message than 17%.

3. Stay authentic

Truthfulness and sincerity play an important role in social media. Thus we see that very long and formal sentences are considered less authentic and therefore less likely to get a strong response. So you must make sure that your message is spontaneous and concise to get the attention of the company.

4. Ask a question

First tip, “Hey Paul, can you pass me milk?” This brings us to the fourth suggestion: A good way to get an answer is to ask a specific question. For example, “Can you help me with my downtime?” “It actually encourages the company to respond to you. This approach seems to be more polite and thus increases the likelihood of getting feedback from the company.

5. Don’t take it away!

Frustrated or annoyed consumers often use words that express their anger, even swear or write words in capital letters to dramatize their emotions. Although these tweets tend to get more likes, comments and shares, they are less likely to get a response from the business. So it should be avoided.

The same trend in banking and delivery

Our research was conducted primarily in the telecommunications industry, but we were able to replicate the results in other industries, such as parcel delivery and retail banking. While the response rate in these sectors is a bit high, it’s still important to make your tweet visible using the five tips mentioned above.

Social networks like Twitter have made it easier for companies to sue
World Directions / Flickr, CC BY-SA

Taking our five tips together, posts with direct contact seem to be the most likely to be answered in a negative form, showing the truth, in the form of a question and with limited excitement. So, the next time you have a problem with your internet service, type “ISmyISP, my internet connection is not working. Can you send a technician to fix it?” Instead, “I HATE MY ISP, again no service. It’s clear they don’t care about their customers.

Of these five tips, keep in mind that the first, a message for a clearly defined conversation, constitutes the most important factor – even if companies have the technical means to identify all the messages they refer to. In our sample, they receive a response in 44% of cases (and also in 52% of cases in the parcel delivery sector), where the response rate for messages that are not clearly identified to the recipient does not exceed 6%.

Our research can therefore help customers increase their chances of getting their complaints answered, but it also has benefits for companies. In fact, it is easier for a company to follow messages addressed directly to them. Messages without hostility are also less reposted, which reduces the risk of reviews going viral.

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