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Why the Twitter Hashtag #onholdwith Should Frighten You

If your business has never experienced the singular delight that is Onholdwith.com, count your customer service staff lucky. The website is a repository of complaints across Twitter for users tweeting angry, irate, and generally exasperated messages accompanied by the hashtag (you guessed it) #onholdwith. Equipped with search by company and category features, the site gives people the ability to scroll through customer service catastrophes in real-time, including most complaints by company and average complaints per day.

Twitter Feed Updated in Real Time

There’s no lag time or opportunity for your business to run proactive damage control when Tweets update in real-time and hit Onholdwith.com’s feed. Users can see your company’s name, its industry, and the names of people who have lost their patience. In addition to user-generated complaints, Onholdwith.com’s own Twitter feed trumpets brands that are receiving high complaint volumes to thousands more across the web. This tactic can lead to a “piling on” effect where more people, who otherwise wouldn’t mention a small issue, feel no qualms in joining in the negative shout-fest.

Negative Reviews and Social Amplification

Social amplification is the phenomenon by which cat videos and weird memes of worn-out high school photos go viral. One friend tells another friend who shares the pic with their 400 followers who gets a re-tweet from someone famous who has several hundred thousand followers. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, a single customer complaint can turn into an Internet snowball of rage that turns future customers away from your products and your brand across the board.

Even situations where customers are mistaken about the reasons behind their wait time can get wildly out of control on social media before your business has any opportunity (or loud enough voice) to explain.

Google is Indexing Tweets Now

Think Twitter angst is more flash flood than steady downpour? Recent maneuverings by search giant Google may mean those venting tweets from frustrated consumers could remain visible for the rest of time. Google, in partnership with Twitter in 2015, hooked into the social media’s firehose of billions of messages sent every minute and is now indexing them in search engine results. That means trending hashtags can appear high in search results pages. Going through a social media gaffe? You better hope no one gets #onholdwith trending any time soon.

How to Avoid Frustrating Your Customers

Avoiding irate customers demands a strategy that’s more proactive than reactive. You can’t cut a wait time that’s already in the double digits, but your company can take the right steps to make sure it never gets that far. Here are several steps your business can take now to stop frustrated tweets from happening:

  • Staff Call Centers Appropriately: Can’t handle inbound and outbound call demands? Outsource your staffing needs to call center experts like Novasors. You can cut into call-related overhead, put a team in place that has deep knowledge of your industry, and make sure that no customer needs to languish on hold before they get help.
  • Go With Confident English Speakers: Outsourcing doesn’t mean you need to move jobs offshore. Choose a call center based in the United States that features personnel with strong language skills who can give clear answers that your customers can understand easily.
  • Solve Customer Problems: An apology only goes so far to handling customer service complaints. Do everything in your company’s power to solve issues, make consumers satisfied with their experience, and amend your practices to close gaps.

A Twitter hashtag like #onholdwith doesn’t mean your company must live in fear of mistakes or falling short of expectations. Always stay open and honest with your customers, work hard to improve, and you’ll receive far more praise than online backlash.

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