Social media feedback falling on deaf ears

Social Media | social media news

By Gina Baldassarre

Given there are dozens of popular review websites for every type of business, you could be forgiven for thinking that consumers wield more power than ever when it comes to online feedback.

However, according to a new survey from American Express, up to 60 per cent of consumers believe their comments aren’t being heard. This is despite the fact that 8 in 10 Australian businesses said they are constantly trying to act on consumer feedback.

Fifty per cent of business owners have made changes to improve service, 38 per cent have improved quality control, and 30 per cent have changed the way they train their staff.

Geoff Begg of American Express said that there is a disconnect between consumers and businesses in terms of feedback provided and received, and the perception of action that’s been taken.

“Consumers feel their feedback is not being heard, yet businesses are working like crazy to stay abreast of online comments,” Begg said.

While 65 per cent of Australians have used social media to provide a business with feedback, only 42 per cent of business owners claim to have received feedback this way.

However, with sites collecting consumer feedback seemingly being launched every week, it’s no wonder business owners are getting lost.

Yelp and Urbanspoon have become the go-to review sites for restaurants and cafés, but services like Yabbit believe the key to improving service is connecting business owners directly to customers.

Yabbit allows customers to provide feedback that’s sent to the business owner’s phone, tablet, or PC. Businesses can then respond directly to the customer and resolve any issues.

Of course, consumers can often make far-reaching demands that no business could accommodate, but every business should look to take small steps to deliver better service and products.

How Australian consumers are using social media:

  • Hotels get the most feedback (71 percent), followed by restaurants and cafés (68 per cent), retail stores (44 per cent), and tradespeople (35 per cent)
  • Nine out of 10 Australians are likely to give feedback after a particularly good or bad experience
  • You can expect Gen Ys to cut to the chase when it comes to their negative experiences, with 29 per cent likely to be more frank about a bad experience compared to just 16 per cent of Gen Xers and 9 per cent of baby boomers
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