Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals

Customer Experience

January 19th, 2010

The Expanding Universe of Customer Service


The way in which we care for customers is expanding fast. Welcome to the exciting world of social media.. A growing trend in the Twitter universe is customer service support.

Large companies and corporations are turning toward Twitter to offer unparalleled customer service and to solve problems before a situation escalates out of control.

What does this mean to the general consumer?

It could mean shorter wait times for problem resolution and improved customer satisfaction.

It could mean establishing loyalty to a certain brand or company, or it could mean a new venue in which issues can be addressed in a timely manner with better communication.

Reputation Management Strategy

For instance, a very large cable company in the US, serves 29 states and more than 5.7 million customers with internet, cable television, and phone services. In an attempt to repair a somewhat tattered reputation in customer service (the Better Business Bureau has posted a warning to consumers about the company), they have turned to Twitter to resolve complaints voiced by their customers.

By tracking keywords and conversations about the company, they immediately knows about any problems their clients have experienced.

They can often intercede and correct the problem before a customer becomes totally frustrated and cancels the service. By using reputation management strategies, they are able keep their finger on the social stream pulse and more quickly handle anything negative.

Meeting Immediate Needs

One such customer posted on Twitter about her frustrations with her Internet connection – it was slow and getting slower. Totally annoyed, she Tweeted, ” sucks and I hate them right now,” and less than two minutes later, she received a message from a company representative that politely expressed his apologies for the slow service. Then, he proceeded to address her complaint. The next day she had a new modem and the connection has been great ever since.

“I didn’t want to call customer support,” she said. “I didn’t want to talk to someone out of the country and go through hours on the phone to figure out what was going on. It was late at night, and my problem was immediate. So, I vented on Twitter and the next thing I know, their customer support was right on it.”

Twitter has made it easy for companies to track conversations, interact on a personal level with their customers, and can help with product marketing as well as building a positive brand image. Twitter has become one of most viral platforms on the Internet where one good experience by a “tweeter” can become an international story in mere hours. A bad experience will travel even faster.

Better Customer Engagement

By engaging with their customers and being authentically involved, both big and small companies build a brand loyalty that can make all the difference in this economy.

Ford, Starbucks, Dell, and Southwest Airlines are just a few of the companies currently using Twitter to improve their customer service, and at a lower cost and faster response time than by phone or even email. By using Twitter, the company representative can serve the customer immediately, without long wait times.

Social media is fast re-defining the meaning of good customer service and how it is applied in the modern days of growing technology. Whether it’s a small company or big corporation, business owners have quickly learned that a good social media presence has become a necessity if they want to remain competitive in today’s economy.

About the Author

Andrea Kallie

Andrea Kalli  offers a variety of business services for the online business  entrepreneur, including:  Internet and Social Marketing Strategist/Coach/Assistant, and editing for Podcasts/Audio/Video/Teleconferences/Audio Books.  Her primary area of focus is to work with businesses to achieve greater online presence in building their business and brand, and to assist and guide them as they wade through these unfamiliar waters.

Andrea Kalli has lived in a suburb of Denver, CO with her husband, Darryl since 1989. Born in Quantico, Virginia in a military family, she moved quite a bit when she was very young, but the family had settled in Southern California by the time she started school. She has two grown children, Chris and Amanda, and has a passion for gardening.

Her various websites are:

Andrea Kalli
Certified Internet and Social Marketing VA
"No Surprises" Social Marketing Packages - Know What You Get and How Much It Will Cost



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