Outstanding customer service recruits and retains business. There’s nothing like walking into a convenience store and an associate greeting you by name; your regular purchases already at the counter waiting for you. In the interpersonal disconnect that exists in the world of emails and text messages, a sterling level of customer service may be difficult to come by as opposed to years past. Thankfully, the realm of social media – specifically the Twittersphere – has allowed for one-on-one interaction, creating a channel where companies can reach their clients and customers instantly and efficiently, ushering in a new era of corporate-consumer relations.
In her new book, Thumbonomics, PR/PR client Heather Lutze describes the evolution of Comcast Cable’s customer service, which was perennially viewed as one of the worst in the business before it implemented a social media component. ‘Comcast Bill,’ as he is colloquially known, maintains Comcast’s Twitter account: @ComcastCares, and interacts with customers and addresses cable problems in real-time. Utilizing a social media vehicle for client relations has allowed users to put a face to a name, and ensure customers that their issues are being handled by a real person, not some autonomous robot on a phone system. Comcast, previously a customer service pariah, has now garnered over 50,000 followers on Twitter, all eager to join in on the conversation.
Blogger and social media extraordinaire, former PR/PR client Peter Shankman was the recipient of one of the best examples of sparkling customer service derived from Twitter, as he jokingly tweeted at Morton’s Steakhouse that he would like a porterhouse waiting for him upon arrival at the Newark airport. Much to his surprise, a server from Morton’s was waiting for him at the arrivals gate, porterhouse in hand. The move provided a boost of publicity for the steak restaurant, as Peter dedicated an entire blog post to their inventive use of social media to make someone’s day. Experiences like Peter’s build life-long customers, and the opportunities for these experiences have increased exponentially since companies jumped online.
Twitter is a powerful tool when used correctly, and can be a sinister one when used against you. Separate yourself from your contemporaries by engaging in person-to-person conversations; assist your clients in rectifying their problems and answering their questions. The Halcyon days of superior customer service have not gone the way of the buffalo; they are alive and well with one click of a button.
PR/PR Public Relations