Are Britons and Americans likely to use social media for complaints with automotive brands?
August 14th, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Are Britons and Americans likely to use social media for complaints with automotive brands?

Shaped by today's digital-first world, customer service has become an increasingly public affair. Consumer issues are no longer resolved solely through traditional counters, call centers and email channels but also on social media. Consumers today have begun to expect rapid, 24/7 responses making social media a preferred channel for customer service, albeit a challenging one.

In a recent YouGov Surveys: Serviced poll – conducted across 18 international markets – we asked consumers whether they reached out to a brand’s social media platforms/handles for complaints over the past six months. In this piece, we aim to get an insight into how Britons and Americans use social media for such complaints, especially in the case of automotive products and services like cars, car rentals, car insurance and more.

Data from the poll reveals that more than two out of five of all global consumers (44%) say that they have reached out to a brand’s social media handle to register complaints. Interestingly, despite this proportion being significantly lower in the UK and US, a substantial share of consumers in both nations do so (UK, 24%; US, 27%). Looking more closely at these Britons and Americans reveals some interesting differences.

Respondents in both nations are most likely to have reached out to an online marketplaces’ - like eBay, Craigslist, Amazon and more - social media platforms to complain (UK, 20%; US, 19%). According to the data, Britons are significantly likelier than their American counterparts to have done the same in the case of telecom providers (14% vs. 8%), financial and investment services (12% vs. 9%), and health and wellness products (11% vs. 8%).

On the other hand, Americans are far more likely than Britons to use a brand's social media pages to register complaints in the case of smartphones (12% vs. 9%), automotive products and services (11% vs. 7%) and household appliances (10% vs. 7%).

A deeper look at the consumers who have made such complaints on an automotive brand’s social media platforms across both markets reveals further nuances.

British men are more than twice as likely as British women to make consumer complaints on an automotive company’s social media pages (11% vs. 4%).

An eighth of 18-to-24-year-old and 25-to-34-year-old Britons (11% and 12%) say they have done so over the past six months while Britons aged 45-54 (3%) are least likely to have done the same.

Looking at the data for our respondents across the pond tells us that though just a tenth of Americans are likely to use social media to find recourse for their consumer complaints with automotive companies, they are still more likely to do so than their transatlantic neighbors.

However, much like the Britons, American men are also twice as likely to reach out an automotive product or services’ social media channels to register complaints (14% vs. 7%).

American respondents aged 18-24 and 35-44 are the most likely of all age groups to have done the same in the last six months (13% and 15%).

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 511 and 1999 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in May 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.