Why Social Media Is The New Better Business Bureau

For those of you who are at-least 30 years of age, you probably have heard of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Those under 30 may or may not have heard of this organization. There are BBB’s all around the country that gather and report information on business reliability, alert the public to frauds against consumers and businesses, provide information on ethical business practices, and act as mutually trusted intermediaries between consumers and businesses to resolve disputes.

When I was growing up, I would hear people use the threat of, “I’m going to report you to the Better Business Bureau” if a company or business was doing something shady or provided horrendous customer service.  I remember using it as a college student and over the years I began to notice that the threat of reporting something to the Better Business Bureau appeared to have less and less sting.

Consumers moved to the: “I’m going to email the corporate headquarters” of an organization.  They would simply send enough emails to make sure someone at the top hears their complaint.  The e-mail route became the most effective and efficient way for consumers to share their complaints.

The consumer complaint system has moved from the BBB to E-Mail to the current complaint and praise method we have come to know as Social Media.  If consumers have complaints they will simply blog about it, tweet about or post it to their Facebook page. Often times these complaints will occur while the consumer is still inside the business or when the hit the parking lot. The bad thing for businesses is the fact that those complaints don’t go away and as matter of fact they have a lasting impression and potential to go viral.

Consumers are talking about the good, bad and ugly of businesses or brands.  Not only are they talking but their friends and followers are listening. Research shows that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, compared to only 14% trust advertisements.

This new reality makes it paramount for businesses to have a Social Media presence and a knowledgeable person handling their Social Brand. Read this post for my thoughts about Businesses Without A Social Media Presence.

Social Media Is The New Better Business Bureau.

Do you share your complaints about businesses or brands via Social Media?  Share your thoughts on Social Media Being The New Better Business Bureau.

  • I just did this last night! My wife’s iPhone quit making phone calls…and…we are not on AT&T! I contacted VZ through Twitter and they eventually called me and after 45 minutes of no luck, said they would send out a replacement iPhone! Afterwards I got back on Twitter and made a comment about their customer service.

  • the fact that those complaints don’t go away and as matter of fact they have a lasting impression and potential to go viral.

  • hahahaa, I remember my Mom saying that ALL THAT TIME whenever we’d be in a store and she got mad about something… it was def her go to threat! But you are right, if I think anything is a scam I head straight to google.  You can’t hide bad press on the interwebs!

  • The bad thing for businesses is the fact that those complaints..

  • The e-mail route became the most effective and efficient way for consumers to share their complaints 

  • For some companies, I’ve noticed it’s easier to get help if I ask my question over social media because of it’s public nature than trying to call them or waiting on hold. Because to them it becomes a matter of their image than their relationship with a single individual. If they care about their business, they wont’ leave a question just hanging unanswered for all their other potential customers to see. And I appreciate hearing stories from others about abominable customer service or a product consistently not working properly, it’s a way to help each other out in the consumerism culture in which we live.

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