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Two-thirds of consumers air their complaints online

FACEBOOK and Twitter are fast becoming the most common place for us to air out grievances about products and services.

Unhappy Irish consumers tend to quickly walk away from the service provider – and then complain to the world on the internet.

New research reveals that almost two-thirds of consumers are likely to publicly complain when they have had a bad experience such as poor customer service. And the study shows that social networks are now the number one platform through which consumers express their gripes.

An analysis of online buying behaviours, published by Accenture, shows that the likelihood of consumers complaining increases with age.

Some 73pc of 45-54 year olds are likely to complain about a bad experience – compared to just 57pc of 15-24 year olds.

And the research shows that two out of every five respondents have shared their experiences, both positive and negative, through social networking sites.

SWITCH

The research, carried out by the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business, also sheds a light on customer loyalty.

It shows that some 82pc of Irish consumers are now continuously comparing offers by different companies online and that over 90pc of customers are likely to switch providers if offered a better deal.

And four out of 10 consumers say they are willing to hand over private data to companies in exchange for targeted deals.

According to Accenture, the vast array of research shows the importance of firms actively engaging with consumers.

"Companies more than ever need to make a real effort to understand and connect with their customers,"according to Vicky Godolphin, head of digital and marketing services.

She added: "It is vital to have a digital strategy that is implemented and owned by all parts of the organisation, for example, if you have social media – you need to actively engage with your customers.

"We can also see from this research that customer loyalty is there to be won - if they want more incentives - you need to offer more; three-quarters of consumers are more loyal to a brand or company when offered access to a reward programme".

hnews@herald.ie


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