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Social media can become the best friend or arch nemesis of a company depending on the company’s attitude towards its complainants

All companies are aware of the need to keep their customers happy through good times and bad. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t roll their eyes when a complaint comes in. Y’know, it distracts them from their main goal of making profit and all that.

Social media can become the best friend or arch nemesis of a company depending on the company’s attitude towards its complainants.

No longer can they quietly pass you from pillar to post behind closed doors over the phone, when over recent years we’ve discovered that naming and shaming them over Twitter will get them clamouring over themselves to keep you sweet.

However, there’s a difference between a company paying lip service to your complaint then basking in the glory of its perceived sparkling customer care, and it actually leaving you with a genuine warm feeling inside.

Here, social media complaints service Pugbear describes the top three online responses that a company gives you without actually resolving the problem:

1) “We are terribly sorry to hear about this but we always strive to give the best possible service to our customers.”

This classic deflection, usually seen in response to a complaint on Twitter, is completely without substance. A copied and pasted cliché aimed to distract you from the fact that they didn’t even read your 140 character distress call. What would be wholly more valuable is an explanation of the steps they’re taking to resolve the problem.

2) “Please contact our customer services team on 0845 xxxx”

Really? I thought I just did. Social media is a scary place for a brand, because consumers have a lot more power than the brand is comfortable with. In fact, it’s best if companies can get customers off social media and into the comfort of their closed channels.

If you are complaining on Pugbear, Twitter, Facebook or any other social channel, and you get this response, it’s the brand’s way of saying: “Let’s just give you bad customer service - at your expense – in private where no-one can see”.

3) “You can email the details to us at xxxx so that we can forward it to the right department”

What is the right department if those manning the social channels do not include staff who are equipped to deal directly with complaints? How can there be a department other than the “right” department when you’ve got people publicly slating your brand?

The growth of the social media complaints phenomenon has highlighted the companies who are paying through the nose because they haven’t appropriately staffed their social media channel.

A note to companies out there: get everyone - from the sales team to the CEO - to spend a few minutes a day connected to these channels so they can respond in a personal manner each time a complaint looks like it could be relevant to their department. When you’re complacent and put inexperienced staff in charge of dealing with often complex complaints, how can they possibly do right by the company in their responses?

If you’ve made a complaint via social media before, you are likely to have been on the receiving end of one of these vacuous ‘non-responses’. Companies have figured out what makes them appear attentive, but simple lip service is no longer good enough and actually makes them appear archaic in theirr level of social media savvy. Be personal with it: take charge, assert authority and get to the root of the cause. Offer the customer compensation, a fix or something personalised. Yes, it may be public but this is the kind of honesty that people remember for all the right reasons.

Using, you can make a complaint that is broadcast over social media directly, and then automatically reposted for as long as it takes for the company to respond. Then, when they eventually do, it is YOU who decides whether the response was to your satisfaction. The company you’ve complained against can only make it stop when you are satisfied with the effort they made. Pugbear is here to put the power in your hands. You decide if your problem is resolved, not the companies. Give it a try.

For more details contact Leila Guddoy at Gamaroff Digital on 020 7148 7595

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Gamaroff Digital in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Media & Marketing, Retail & Fashion, for more information visit