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Twitter users who use the microblogging platform to lodge complaints about bad customer experiences say they expect companies to read and respond to their complaints, according to a poll from Maritz Research. Most companies, however, don't appear to be listening.

Among frequent Twitter users* age 18 and older who have issued a complaint to a company via Twitter, roughly one-half say they expect their tweets to be read.

Expectations are even higher among older users: 57.02% of those age 45-54 and 64.89% of those age 55+ expect their tweeted complaints to be read: 

Below, additional findings from a study by Maritz Research and its social intelligence arm, evolve24.

But few companies appear to be listening. Among Twitter users who have issued a complaint to a company via Twitter, only (33%) say they have received some type of follow-up to their complaint. 

Among those who have received responses to their complaints:

  • 83% say they liked or loved hearing from the company they had complained about; only 3% didn't like or hated hearing from the company.
  • 75% were very or somewhat satisfied with the company's response; only 15% were very or somewhat dissatisfied with the response. 

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Older age groups are more likely to want responses from companies, whereas younger age groups are more likely to be indifferent:

  • 91.5% of those age 45-54 and 92.6% of those age 55+ say they would like it or love it if the company contacted them regarding a tweeted complaint, compared with 79.8% of those age 18-24.
  • 17.7% of those age 18-24 and 12.3% of those age 25-34 say it doesn't matter if a company responds to their complaints, compared with 7.3% of those age 45-54 and 5.9% of those age 55+ who say the same.

In addition, older women, those age 35+, age 45-54, and those age 55+ are most likely to love or like hearing from a company in response to their complaints: 90.7%, 94.8%, and 93.3%, respectively say so, compared with 75.0% of women age 18-24 and 84.4% of women age 25-34.

As for the two-thirds (63%) of Twitter users who say they have not received answers to their complaints, 86% say they would have liked or loved to hear from the company. 

However, a striking 63% say they would hate or not like it if the company contacted them about something other than their complaint.

* People who self-identify themselves at Twitter users who frequently send tweets.

About the data: Maritz Research surveyed an online panel of 1,298 US consumers, who had pre-identified themselves as Twitter users who frequently tweet, had complained via Twitter about a company with whom they do business, and who age 18 or older, Sept 9-12, 2011.

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