For every complaint expressed, more than 25 go unregistered, according to some studies; rather than complain, the vast majority of those dissatisfied customers simply take their business elsewhere. And the millions, or billions, of lost revenue are rarely recovered.

More and more consumers are now using social media to interact with brands; yet, most customer complaints, questions, and comments remain unanswered by those brands.

Social media is an empowering channel for consumers and gives many of them a voice, because they wouldn't otherwise have the time, resources, or energy to actively log complaints through traditional channels.

Accordingly, social media now plays a unique and increasingly critical role in protecting both brand equity and customer loyalty.

Five Complainer Personas

The customer complaint ecosystem comprises distinct complainer personas. According to a recent article by the University of Florida, brands confront five types of complainers.

To understand how social comes into play, let's look at each complainer type and how to respond to it via social. (Also see the infographic at the end of this article.)

1. The Meek Customer generally will not complain.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Susan Marshall

Susan Marshall is senior director of social media products at ExactTarget, a global provider of cross-channel digital marketing software-as-a-service solutions.

LinkedIn: Susan Marshall