November 19, 2013 1:55 pm
Updated: November 19, 2013 4:48 pm

30 per cent of British Columbians take to social media to complain about services, companies

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Three-in-ten British Columbians are taking to social media to voice their displeasure about a brand and most are not satisfied with the response they received.

A new poll by Insights West shows more than a third (37 per cent) of social media users say they have posted complaints on social media about a service or a company.

81 per cent of all people complaining on social media are doing it on Facebook, according to the poll. 32 per cent are using twitter.

The average Facebook user in B.C. has 217 friends, so complaints can spread quickly.

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“Unlike the days of quietly complaining to a small circle of friends and family around you, dissatisfied consumers are now shouting with a loudspeaker to a wide network of friends and followers online,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West, who performed the poll.

Despite all this complaining on social media, only one-in-four people are satisfied with the response they received. Seven-in-ten people who complained online say no action was taken.

Mossop says companies need to do a better job of addressing customer complaints.

“Companies can benefit immensely by addressing these complaints publicly, and directly to the customer who is complaining. Often the response – or lack of response – can be just as meaningful or damaging as the complaint itself.”

More than four-in-five (83 per cent) of British Columbians use social media at least once a month. Facebook is the most popular platform, accessed every day by 52 per cent of British Columbians. Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular venues for customer complaints on social media.

British Columbians who complain on social media have restaurants (38 per cent), transit (29 per cent) and telecommunications (27 per cent) as the primary focus of their complaints.

Airlines, hotels and utilities (all at 16%) and financial institutions (15%) are also top targets.

Video: Online Producer Peter Meiszner discusses the poll results on BC1

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