51% of Twitter Users Think Your Customer Service Stinks

Posted By on Oct 13, 2011 | 7 comments

I was reading the Martiz Research report on customer service and Twitter (thanks to Jay Baer for his post about the study) and I realized that despite the fact there were plenty of good statistics…

We may have missed a valid point.

The study shines a glaring light over companies who are ignoring Twitter as a customer service model. This happened to me recently. On Tuesday I had sent a tweet to Southwest (a complaint) and never received an answer. Jay points out that 70% of companies ignore customer service on Twitter. 

I found something else in the study and I find it fairly disturbing. Yes, 70% of companies ignoring customer complaints on Twitter is disgusting. However, the study also found that 51% of respondents didn’t believe the company would actually answer them anyway.

This is a symptom to the overall problem of communication within the digital world. There is a great quote from Paul Greenburg that pretty much sums all this up.

“What I do care about is that you conclude that your company needs to change the way you deal with the customer NOW, because the customer has already changed the way they deal with you.”

Are we training the customer to not care? You may be great at customer service but this study isn’t speaking directly to your individual customer. It is giving you a good idea of what the consuming public thinks and how they act.

Three things to remember:

1. Research - You may be surprised how little you know about your customer database. Do you have the information you need to deliver quality customer service? Are you using Twitter and monitoring sites (like Google Alerts) to keep track of the conversation?

2. Systems - Use Hootsuite or CoTweet to enable your employees to respond to customer complaints on Twitter. They both have extremely valuable systems for answering and responding to Tweets of the positive or negative nature. Talk to your staff about the value of the system and what exactly should happen when a customer complaint is read.

3. Value – Try to setup metric to measure the value of the answers for employees and customers. Did the answer drive revenue? Did the lifetime value of the customer increase because of the answer via social media? We are all new to this world but in order to measure the right way… you need the right data.



  1. Let's use Southwest Airlines as an example. I would love to know, on a daily basis, how many Twitter mentions they get every day. And what their policy is with regards to responding to customers.

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    • Chuck, tweet @ChristiMcNeill (who is the voice behind @southwestair) and she can tell you!

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  2. It seems like twitter how be a little better than the average company, for the basic reason of how easy it would be to respond to people. I guess not…

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  3. The content of your blog is exactly what I needed, I like your blog, I sincerely hope that your blog a rapid increase in traffic density, which help promote your blog and we hope that your blog.

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  4. I have to give a thumbs up to Brighthouse Cable. They picked up my tweet and was on top of finding a fix every step of the way.

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  5. I hope that companies reading this post will realize what a big blunder they are making when they ignore the complaints that are tweeted to them!! I was rather surprised to read that 51% of the complainants who tweet don’t really expect a reply for – that is really pathetic!! Then why send a complaint in the first place? I think we, the customers, should really follow up with our complaints especially with so much of communication going on within the digital world!!

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  6. I am surprised to having read this. It adds fuel to my assumption that consumers or your audience have altered responses, behavior and perception from one social media platform to another. Twitter and Facebook for example have similar audiences albeit with different perception of the same brand. Food for thought for a lot of us.

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  1. 51 percent of Twitter users think your customer service stinks | Gen Why Press - [...] Are we training the customer to not care? You may be great at customer service but this study isn’tspeaking directly …

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