Something interesting happened recently that I felt the need to tweet about regarding Virgin Media, and their use of twitter for customer service. Customer service on twitter is a new but valuable tool. It means average joe’s like you and me can get the service we really need, but it still raises the question of “Why has it come to this?”. This blog contains some information as well on how to use twitter to get that customer service.
To take my example, my awesome 20mb Fibre Optic connection seems to randomly drop for a few hours every now and then. 4 conversations with their support number, I was told a whole range of excuses including “There’s nothing wrong, we can connect to your modem fine” all the way to “there is a known problem and it will be resolved shortly”. No matter how many times I’d argue that there’s some deeper issue, I’d be shunted away like some annoying rat. When asking to speak to someone above the 1st line support engineer, I’d be told that’s not possible…
A few tweets and an email or two later, I had an email apologising and admitting there is a major issue with my line and an emergency engineer will be sent out to help resolve this issue ASAP, with priority treatment.
Wow! It worked! When I tweeted, I didn’t really expect anything to happen except for some customer service guy to see the tweet and reply saying sorry or something, but to actually put effort into resolving the issue with urgency was really key. From their point of view, it’s a necessity. Let’s just say stephen fry randomly wanted to retweet my comment to his millions of followers, that hurts Virgin Media a LOT. There are 2 reasons why I dislike customer service on twitter:
1) It feels like the company are only doing it to protect themselves, NOT to give you the service you should be getting
2) On 4 occasions, their own support desk failed in helping. Using twitter should not be a last resort when the user is already frustrated and angry….
Social media is still in it’s early phase, though for customer service it’s becoming crucial. The days of support desks with 0870 numbers are limited due to social media, where a company can reach out to it’s customers on their own ground. The best businesses for customer service are those embracing social media without question, such as BT, VM, KLM Airlines etc… Within the next 10 years, every major business will host their customer service through social media platforms, and this allows the customer to get what they want and to be treated like someone of importance rather than the “annoying rat” feeling I got after the Virgin Media call!
So, for people who have never used twitter, and don’t know how to, though have something to complain about, here’s my advice:
1) Sign up for a twitter.com account (free and easy)
2) Google the company name and twitter. For example: http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=virgin+media+twitter – This will bring you to that businesses home twitter page
3) Make sure there’s a blue tick to the right of their name on the twitter page (check the Virgin Media one for a comparison). This proves it’s not a fake (example below):
4) Click on the cog wheel just above their tweets, and select “Mention [company]”
5) A new popup box will appear with @companyname
6) Fill in the tweet with information about your problem and why you’re frustrated
7) That’s it. Submit the comment, and every now and then check what mentions you’ve had in twitter ( http://twitter.com/#!/mentions ) to see if they’ve replied!
If you already know the companies twitter name, without having to go onto their page, just create a new tweet and type in @companyname with the rest of the information.
Would be interested to hear whether anybody else has had similar twitter experiences as well so feel free to comment! (You can login using your facebook to comment in theory!)
Tweet me @thejsug !