in the last 3 months I’ve noticed anecdotally that when I complain about something I’m much more likely to hear from someone associated with it. I don’t think this is because I’m becoming important- ha ha. (Yea like that’s going to happen.) I think it’s because Social Media is becoming important.
Forbes saw Chris Kieff tweet about the obnoxious ads on Forbes.com. Chris and Forbes messaged back and forth a few times about the issue and Chris blogged about how great it is to get attention, and that “Social Media is becoming important”.Would Forbes have responded if the complaint had come in via email? Why not? Why should social media get more customer service attention than other channels? I’ve had a lot of experience with customer service on Twitter. A few months ago, I blogged about my dissatisfaction with Comcast and Sears. I didn’t intend to contact them on Twitter, but they found the post and contacted me. Both companies engaged with me via Twitter, then email, then phone, and ultimately took care of my issues. But even though they were helping me, I called them out on it:
It is only through the power of Posterous/Twitter/Facebook that my complaints are being heard and actions are being taken. For these companies, it’s all about being perceived as listening and fixing their issues, not about actually getting down to their root problems and fixing those.
The worst I’ve seen in this arena of publicly providing customer service via Twitter is Bank of America. They have a team of six people who tweet as bofa_help. Looks at their tweets, just a series of “how can we help you?”You know how you can help? Let me talk to a human being on the phone. Refund me the hidden fees you keep charging. You think they have the power to do that? I doubt it. They only have the power to tweet. And are only there so that people think Bank of America is listening and doing something. Good customer service is important. But lets not get too excited when a company hires a social media customer relationship manager. Often these people are completely disconnected from the product and the rest of the support staff. Great companies provide top notch service through all channels, and they don’t do it just to be public about it. They do it because they actually care.