Businesses can improve customer service by enabling consumers to post complaints on their corporate website.

The UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) by the Institute of Customer Service discovered that consumers would rather share their grievances on an official business website than a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter.

Information in the UKCSI revealed that 41 per cent of British consumers believed that a standard element of any good business website should be the provision of an area where people can review products and services.

Companies may want to update their corporate websites to improve customer service as the UKCSI found that 54 per cent of consumers use an online review facility when it is provided.

Only eight per cent of British consumers expected a firm to run a Twitter account, while just 14 per cent thought they should be able to interact with a business via Facebook, however, this percentage increased among younger customers.

Social media is crucial for the future of business and important for keeping hold of younger consumers as 21 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 expect companies to run a Facebook page, compared to just seven per cent of the over 55s.

Not having a presence on websites such as Twitter and Facebook can negatively affect businesses as one in four consumers said they are less inclined to buy online from a site that uses no social media tools.

Jo Causon, Chief Executive at the Institute of Customer Service, said that businesses must recognise that consumers have become more sophisticated in using technology to publish their complaints.

She said: “Customers now hold the power, and they expect to be able to make their voice heard by sharing their experiences with the world online.

“By denying customers the right to reply on an open platform, businesses not only irritate consumers – they miss the opportunity to gain valuable feedback, leaving them unaware of, and unable to, rectify problems as soon as they arise.”

The Institute of Customer Service also reported that modern customers are less patient and expect more from businesses in terms of customer service.

It was discovered that 55 per cent of consumers wanted a response the same day to an online complaint but only 29 per cent actually received one and 12 per cent claimed that they had to wait at least a month for a reply.

Over 1,500 organisations have registered for this year’s National Customer Service Week, which runs between October 4th and the 10th.

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