by helen on December 16, 2010

When was the last time you experienced bad customer service? And how loudly did you shout about it?

 My other half has just come up for air after spending an inordinate amount of time on a high street electrical retailer’s website – and he’s not a happy bunny to say the least!

Which got me thinking about whether or not the internet is actually doing anything to improve the customer experience? You could argue that with access to 24hr shopping – and a national, no, global high street, customers have never had it so good.

So why then have almost three quarters of Britons experienced bad customer service five times or more in the last year, according to a survey of more than 1,000 respondents by internet service provider Eclipse Internet?

And what does this mean for the UK’s struggling SMEs?

With consumers becoming more and more demanding, small business owners – already pushed to their limit by the downturn and lower cost competition – need to find new ways to improve their relationships with customers.

And where are their customers these days? Well, a lot of them are sharing their experiences, thoughts and questions via social media.

Here’s a short film with some startling figures about what people are sharing…

  • 44% of Twitter users have recommended a product or service
  • 58% say they have tweeted about a bad experience

I have done both since I started using Twitter earlier this year – and monitoring what people are saying about products or services I am interested in helps me to decide where I will spend my hard-earned cash.

When you look at it like that, it’s hard to see why more companies struggling with their customer service aren’t using social media to connect with customers and improve their experience.

It would be interesting to hear from SMEs in Yorkshire about how they manage their customers’ experience and whether any are using social media successfully. Or from Yorkshire folk who have experienced great customer service from local companies via social media.

Are we being served? 

Thanks to for the article which inspired this post!

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