A growing number of consumers are actively using social media for customer service. As the use of social media for customer service trend continues to increase, businesses, brands, and consumers are discovering the dark side of social media customer service.

One of the biggest threats to businesses, brands, and consumers trying to address and resolve customer service issues on social media is complaint theft.

Other names for “complaint theft” include:

  • Complaint hijack
  • Complaint poaching
  • Complaint burglary

Complaint theft occurs when a consumer attempts to use social media for customer service. Here is an example of what complaint theft looks like on Twitter:

Social Media for Customer Service

How complaint theft works:

  1. A consumer (purposefully or accidentally) uses social media for customer service.Accidents can happen when the consumer is simply ranting about a product, service, or service provider with which/whom they are dissatisfied.
  2. The consumer identifies the business or brand (responsible for their dissatisfaction) by name within their social media post.
  3. A competitor of the business or brand chimes in with an alternative solution to the consumer’s problem.

Here is another example of what happens when consumers use Twitter (social media) for customer service.

Social Media for Customer Service

This presents a problem not only for consumers, but also for businesses and brands who are trying to improve their customer service on social media. With the increased social noise, more complaints will be ignored and “hijacked” by competition.

Is there a solution to better customer service on social media? Yes.

Say hello to Comnio.
A social network for customer service.