If you have a customer service issue with a particular company, here’s what you probably do – you open your Web browser to www.mycompany.com and look for an email or telephone number so you can get connected with their customer service team. That is how the company wants you to contact them. But that doesn’t mean that’s how you have to do it.
Instead, if you want get a fast response, a smart way to get service today is to use social media. It can be used for complaints, not just for talking to your friends or marketing purposes. For example, if you send out a tweet that mentions your issue with a certain company’s product, or you post a complaint to that company’s page on Facebook, I’ll bet you that that company is going to get back to you and quick. The reason for this is that social media is a true public forum. Anyone who is online looking for information about the company can see the complaint that you have. Obviously this is not good for business, so the company is going to trip all over itself trying to make you happy.
Here is how this can work – recently Patrick Stewart, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, tweeted that he had lost the will to live due to a 36 hour wait for Time Warner to install cable TV in his New York apartment. That tweet was retweeted 2000 times, and that is one big problem for Time Warner. That one tweet probably turned off hundreds of potential customers at least.
As you’re probably not quite as famous as Sir Patrick, you will not have such a huge effect on the company’s business. But the public nature of your complaint is surely going to work more in your favor. Even if you are not quite as famous as Captain Picard, your family and friends will sure see the problems you are writing about, and also how the problem is solved, or not.
More people than ever appear to be taking to social media to get customer service – these days about 47% of social media users have used it to get better service. So, if you have not used Twitter or Facebook to resolve a problem with a company, you should give it a shot. Because after all, no company wants bad publicity.