Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just Tweet It!

No, this isn't going to be a navel-gazer, or a post trying to persuade everyone to Tweet. Quite frankly, if you don't have anything to sell, I can see little point.

That was until the other day, when I solved a rather annoying customer service problem by Tweeting. I won't name the company but they'd sent me a defective product. I e-mailed them asking for another or asking what to do. I got a lovely robot e-mail back promising a reply in a few days, but they failed to deliver. Following week I sent another e-mail. Same result. Said company's web site didn't give a phone number. (Isn't that against the law?) Sleuth that I am, I did an Internet search and found the number on a review site. Called them. Of course there wasn't a live person on the other end, but Mrs. Voice-over promised the same kind of speedy customer service if I'd leave my name and phone number.  Still nothing.

So I Tweeted my dissatisfaction. Named names I did.

"What does it take to get a reply from Company A?" #crapcustomerservice", I tweeted.

Within minutes someone direct messaged me and asked about the problem. That night they even phoned to tell me how they were solving my problem. Brilliant.

Apparently Tweeting companies into action is becoming very popular. This recent story from Australia is a corker and should be a warning to any company daring to advertise one thing and deliver quite the opposite.

If you are going to resort to Twitter, obviously you first have to have an account. It's really easy to sign up and you don't have to Tweet much if you don't want to. Second - don't just Tweet about the company; do a search to see if the company has a Twitter account and if it does, use the handle (which would be @Xcompany) in your mini-rant. That way it will be flagged up to them almost like a message or an e-mail. Apparently some companies have employees who watch social media feedback all day.

Bear in mind that you are still limited as far as characters you can type, but in my experience, they will then be able to establish the basis of your problem, seek out your original e-mails or (if you're really lucky) give you a call.

Worth a try, and boy do they hate bad word-of-mouth!

20 comments:

  1. This is a brilliant idea! I'm going to remember this.

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  2. I had a terrible meal in giraffe and tweeted them about it. They replied with oh dear that's a shame and that was that. Shame they didn't try to do anything to change my view of their restaurant. I think social media is a fantastic tool , companies should really take it rather seriously.

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  3. This is a great idea! I am impressed with this!

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  4. Kind of sad taht you had to resort to twitter to get some help buyt so glad you got it resolved!!

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  5. There are also review sites (like "Yelp in the USA) where you can go one and leave a comment and review stars. And don't forget the Better Business Bureau and things like.

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  6. My FIL had some boots that fell apart on the first wearing. The store he bought them at would do nothing to help. He called the boot company's 800 # to no avail. I found their page on Facebook and posted photos of the defective boots - and suddenly they were quit happy to replace them!

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  7. Ironically, I have had a twitter account for years - but I haven't used it in ages. This sounds like the perfect reason to dust it off and use it again - great idea!

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  8. Having been stuck in bed sick for several weeks I spend an astonishing and shameful amount of my day on Twitter.

    I frequently use it to express my dissatisfaction with customer service. All you need is the company's Twitter handle (not necessarily even that)... and quite often a hash-tag fail will do the job.

    I think most large companies have searches looking for their mentions as a reply usually turns up pretty fast!

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  9. AA - I had the exact same problem a few years ago with a large department stores (and defective boots.) It seems stores are more than happy to take stuff back if there's nothing wrong with it, but you've just changed your mind. Present them with something that's actually defective and they haven't a clue what to do. They were trying to argue with me that it was my fault (the zipper had broken on the first wearing) even though I was pointing out that a boot zipper should hold for longer than a day. The only thing that saved me was that the store manager, in trying to explain how good the boots were, broke the other (crappy) zipper in her demonstration! Ha!

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  10. Good advice - I've heard it's so much quicker to tweet about something than calling customer service (although there's something quite wrong about that in a way- why are companies so hot to respond to tweets but not pick up the phone?)

    Mind you, the only time I did it, I ranted about the wrong part of Verizon! (Verizon Wireless, not the landline people who I really wanted to berate). Oops.

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  11. Oops indeed. I will say too, that I Tweeted this morning in praise of American Express. Will explain in next post, but it's important to Tweet th good stuff too!

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  12. that australian shop is a few suburbs away from me! I can't get the hang of twitter - maybe I should try..

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  13. Oh brilliant! Again, proof of how powerful social media is! Maybe i'll try tweeting to get our washing machine back, which was taken away a week ago and has seemingly disappeared without trace!

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  14. Have heard a few people say Twitter is good for customer service. I think I need a few more followers though otherwise I expect I will be tweeting into a void!

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  15. So there'll come a day when I really need to use my dormant Twitter account, then.

    Love the title of the post.

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  16. Jenny - you don't need followers, just hash tags or handles. If you name the company, the ones that have "watchers" scanning social media thingies, will pick up your Tweet and respond.

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  17. Didn't really help in the case of Philips' Avent - they just directed me back to their crappy, automated customer (not)service.

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  18. That's very interesting. I'm still owed money from a publication for an article and despite threatening lawyers there's no sign of the filthy lucre. *searches for Twitter ID* right, here I go...
    Pig x

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