Every now and then brands fall short on delivering on their promises and more often than not we keep quiet about it instead of giving them a slap. We think the brands won’t listen to our complaints or it will be a tedious task lodging a complaint. Social media has made it easier for consumers to express their gripes about brands and ultimately get a solution.

Recently, I bought Yum Yum peanut butter from Checkers and when I opened it, it looked as if some has helped him/herself to it before me. I then took a picture of it and posted it on twitter and tagged both brands i.e the @RCLFoods – the peanut butter manufacturer and @CheckersSA where I bought the peanut butter. The two brands in question responded asking me to send to them my contact details.

Within hours both brands contacted me and offered a solution to my problem. The branch manager of the Checkers where I bought the peanut butter also called me to say I must return the product. The two brands sent me vouchers equivalent to the price of the peanut butter to redeem at any Checkers store.

This experience made me realise the effectiveness of complaining about brands on social media and for brands to address customer complaints. Historically, I would have called the customer care line which would cost me time and money and/or wrote a letter or an email that would have taken long for me to get a response.

 Many customer service reports have stated that social media is powerful for consumers tool to air your grievances with a brand. Firstly, every activity on social media takes place in real-time and the probability of a complaint going viral is very high which could cause real damage to the brand that a consumer is complaining about. Therefore brands are required to respond quickly so that they can contain the problem. Secondly, when one complains about a brand on social media they are indirectly informing other potential customers about their bad experience. It has become a known fact that consumers trust each other more than the brands. When a customer sees a negative comment from another customer about a particular brand they lose confidence in the brand irrespective of what the brand says.

Brands are no longer required to have monologues with consumers but required to have dialogues with their consumers and the consumers’ voice is now louder and it cannot be ignored. This is the power that social media has vested onto the consumer.

On the other hand, social media can help brands to improve their customer service and attend to attend customer complaints swiftly. The quicker the brand responds to customer grievances on social media the quicker they restore customer confidence.

In conclusion, the cost of acquiring a new customer is much greater than keeping an existing customer and most brands are aware of this. Therefore it is in the brand’s interest to respond to and solve problems that their customers’ raise on social media.  You should not shy away from complaining about brands on social media as long as you have a legitimate grievance.

  •  
    14
    Shares
  • 14
  •  
  •  

Thokozani Patrick Mahlangu

Thokozani Mahlangu is an internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg. He is the Chief Brand Creator of Pat onBrands and Pat onFitness- a fitness movement through which organizes weekly runs under the banner #RunWithPat.

Leave a Reply