OPINION13 January 2010

One bad tweet can cost you 30 customers

The power of tweeting

One bad tweet can cost you 30 customers


Thanks to Convergys for some interesting recent press. The basic strapline is one bad tweet can cost you 30 customers.


We have probably all heard how Dave Carroll’s song about United Airlines breaking his guitar received 4 million hits. Well a recent study has tried to quantify this Twitter effect more generally.  For more information on press coverage see the links:


One bad ‘Tweet’ can cost 30 customers, survey shows



Can Twitter solve customer service hell?



Companies hurt by angry bloggers



Silent majority risk worse customer service as companies monitor Twitter, Facebook



This is one of the first times I have seen such an attempt to quantify the Twitter effect: true it is survey based but the basic concept of a silent attrition, that customers see a bad review and switch companies without complaining (Frank Sherlock) is a good one.  Indeed a similar notion has also been expressed by Cherry Tree research in Experience: source Responsetek (white paper: how to increase bottom line profits by improving customer experience). The base concept here is that while 22% receive a poor experience only 2% actually complain i.e., 98% of dissatisfied customers never complain with 55% at risk and 45% actually defecting. 



The Convergys research does seem however to go further by focusing on the switching effect at an earlier browsing for information stage. This makes the social media effect even more important if you are also losing customers you never realised ‘you could have had’.


This also means experience-wise there is a much stronger emphasis in the market of seeking peer review: the start of an experience is now much more likely to be when you log-on.


Would be interested to know of any other quantifications out there or opinions: is this an overblown effect?



1 Comment

11 years ago

Totally with you. There are about 1500 accounts following my twitter account. Even if only a quarter of them look at anything I write, that's 375 people who just heard me complain about a broken widget. You cannot convince me that they didn't unconsciously internalize that message. Psychology will prove otherwise.

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