Methods of Contacting or Providing Feedback to Companies that US Internet Users Are Aware of, Have Used and Prefer, April 2012 (% of respondents)

 Email Is The Preferred Method

A  Maritz Research April 2012 survey of US internet users found that consumers preferred using email to phone when looking to provide businesses with direct feedback.

  • 75% of respondents used email to give a company direct feedback
  • 66% made a phone call.

Take away: Put more resources into customer service email management.

Social Media Feedback Preferences

For feedback via social networks, there is an overwhelming preference for Facebook. They used social media to provide feedback as follows:

  • Facebook: 29%
  • Twitter: 8%
  • Google+: 8%

Customers have lower expectations for company responses when using Social Media.

  • 27% said they were “delighted” to get a response via social media.
  • 6% using a direct feedback method (like email) had such low expectations.

Preferences Closely Correlate to Age

Breaking data down among age groups, Maritz found younger customers were increasingly likely to embrace a social network for public feedback, while older consumers preferred older methods of direct contact with a company. Unsurprisingly, those ages 18 to 24 were much more likely than any other age group to prefer delivering feedback via Facebook.

Preferred Method of Contacting or Providing Feedback to Companies According to US Internet Users, by Age, April 2012 (% of respondents)

Attitudes About How Companies Use Customer Info

Negatives: Most consumers are not fully aware of the ways in which businesses use customer information, and tended to be uncomfortable upon finding out:

  • Only 34%  knew that browsing history is used to provide product recommendations.
  • 37% were aware of search engine data being leveraged to provide recommendations.
  • Respondents unaware of this showed discomfort with these approaches.

US Internet Users

Positives: Consumers were positive about companies:
  • using public data to understand what people think of their products.
  • using online information to help a dissatisfied customer.

Take away: Companies who directly engage consumers in the public sphere have an opportunity to earn customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

Snap! principle of web customer feedback:

Use it, and segment by age.