The art of being British keeps getting muddled in the stresses of the modern world. Our stiff upper lip in a crisis and our willingness to queue for long periods are both retreating into history as is our traditionally hopeless approach to complaining.
All that awkward mumbling, the “Yes, dear I’m doing it” and the clearing of the throat are being replaced by something much more direct, urgent and unapologetic. Increasingly that means social media.
The Institute of Customer Service reveals that one in four social media users have used Facebook and Twitter to make a complaint over the past three months. It says that 12 per cent of customers will even use these platforms to “escalate their complaint if traditional methods are not effective”. That’s up from the 3 per cent of consumers who said they used social media to complain in January 2014.
Jo Causon, chief executive at the Institute, says: “The shift from a transactional economy to a relationship economy is most visible through social media. Customers are no longer happy with one- way directional communication and expect to engage in conversations with organisations. Those businesses that do this well have a competitive advantage. It’s all about enabling the consumer to interact in a way that they choose.”
In the next instalment of our social media series, we take a look at how social media compares to traditional forms of communication…