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/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/working_166840.jpgIn the current environment, people are relying more than ever on the internet as their first – and in many cases only – port of call when interacting with a company. Therefore, it’s vital to have systems in place to control a brand’s online identity and ensure these customers are well cared for.

Demand for online solutions can be seen in the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping. A recent SAP survey revealed this is particularly important at this time of year, with 92 per cent of those who have made an online purchase in the past six months having done so in the last four weeks.

But increased use of the internet is also being seen in how consumers get in touch with companies. Whereas in the past they may have made a phone call or send an email to register a complaint, nowadays social media is playing a key part in this.

More than half of people (56 per cent) said they would share news of a poor experience with a firm via these channels, with this rising to 65 per cent among those aged between 18 and 34.

However, a total of 59 per cent of people stated they would also talk about a good experience through social media, which shows there is great potential for companies to improve their reputation if they have the right strategy in this area.

The survey noted speed is an important part of this, as 52 per cent of respondents said brands need to respond directly to a complaint, with 28 per cent saying this should be done within an hour. Almost half of people (48 per cent) said consumers should not have to wait more than half a day for a response.

However, this is not the only factor brands need to consider. While 67 per cent of people said this is highly important, 73 per cent rated the quality of a response is a factor in whether they will be satisfied with the company’s handling of their issue.

Others important elements were personalised responses, cited by 72 per cent and commitment to a follow-up (69 per cent).

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