A quick web search for “bad customer service reputation” brings up lots of contenders for the worst offenders list – airlines, telephone companies, cable companies, grocery store chains – in the first few pages of results. There are lots and lots of blogs sharing horror stories or rants about bad experiences in great detail. However, a search on the term “good customer service reputation” brings up many articles analyzing why good customer service is important, how to articles for improving customer service, and consultants promising to have the magic key, but few mentions of corporate brands or industries. And when I read these articles I noticed that they generally contained more lofty ideas than concrete details. I thought about this a bit and deduced it down to this:
- good customer service reputation search – lots of advice, few examples
- bad customer service reputation search – lots of examples, little explanation
I want to share a story (with concrete details) about an unique way to provide good customer service from a company with a not so good reputation. Last Wednesday evening my husband and I tuned our cable to the Travel Channel to see what was on and instead were confronted with a message:
- ONE MOMENT PLEASE
This channel should be available shortly.
I had called Comcast customer service in the past and the experience had almost always been frustrating. But, more recently I had heard about the @ComcastCares team's efforts to improve the company's customer service reputation using Twitter. (Here is an article about the company's use of social media to help customers – BusinessWeek: Comcast's Twitter Man.) So, I decided to give it a try. Before going to be Thursday evening I posted this tweet from one of my Twitter accounts (@Jessica_Travels):
- @ComcastCares - The Travel Channel has been out at my house (94107 area) for 2 days - Can you please check why? Thanks!
- @jessica_travels dm me acct phone number [For non-tweeters, dm is short for direct message, a private messaging feature on Twitter.]
So, what can I learn from this? I think it is a great example of a customer service team that really wants to turn around their company's reputation. Rather than trying to change the whole system, this team has decided to started communicating with customers and helping solve customer's problems via social media. While this may not replace or negate the need for improvement of the traditional contact channels for customer service (like telephone or in person), it is another way to help customers and companies that really care are starting to catch on.
An interesting side effect of solving people's problems on Twitter comes from the public nature of the forum. Except for the direct messages I sent to @ComcastBill containing my account number, most of our communication was in public. This allows other customers and potential customers to see how employees communicate with and help customers. And, most importantly, the public can see that my problem was resolved and I thanked @ComcastBill for his help:
- @ComcastBill -Yes! It's much better now! Thank you!!!!
- @jessica_travels woohoo
- @ComcastBill - Thank you so much! You guys do a great job here!
- @jessica_travels we try :-)
So, thank you @ComcastCares and @ComcastBill! If I need customer service from Comcast again I will definitely contact you via Twitter!