They’re Listening: The Value of Social Media & Customer Service
Last week I found myself among about 400 people in downtown Portland, Oregon that were temporarily without Comcast high-speed Internet service. As the owner of an Internet-dependent business operating in an office in the affected area, such a disruption is not only irritating; it has the potential to be catastrophic.
As a long time subscriber to Comcast business class service, I’ve experienced my fair share of service outages – and while any outage can be disruptive and annoying, this particular outage could not have come at a worse time for me and my business.
So I did what any red blooded American would do, I took my frustration to Twitter.
I can’t reprint my tweet here but suffice it to say that I wasn’t kind, I wasn’t mature, I was anything but civil, and my use of expletives was astonishing. I should also add that this particular public Twitter meltdown against Comcast was my 4th in the past 9 months; though when you rely on Internet connectivity to run your business it can sometimes feel like outages come about much more frequently than they actually do and overreact accordingly.
Anyway, in short I behaved like a completely unwieldy, crass, and obnoxious jerk.
Fortunately for me, Comcast currently employs at least one of the more patient social media representatives on the face of the planet. Within only a few minutes I received a tweet from a rep that offered to help me with my issue, almost immediately disarming the situation that I had pushed to DEFCON 1 over social media.
With that simple exchange and a handful of Direct Messages back and forth, I learned that (a) I wasn’t alone as some 400 connections were out, (b) Comcast was already aware of the situation and was working to resolve it as soon as possible, (c) I should expect the outage to last approximately 4 hours, and (d) I am to receive a credit on my bill for the downtime.
Did any of this information help me? Yes.
Because I was on a deadline and needed to get reconnected as soon as possible I was able to make the call to head to a nearby coffee shop and use their WiFi rather than wait it out in the office, blankly staring at the wall, wondering when and if the Internet would come back on.
Am I impressed with Comcast as a result? Yes.
The Comcast rep that got in touch with me couldn’t possibly have been more helpful. Regardless of how I sometimes feel about their actual service, I’ve come across very few companies as large as Comcast that are as successful at using social media. I was angry, I was impatient, and I was rude – I’ve already admitted as much. Their local rep wasn’t idly waiting around for something to do; he was there on Twitter actively looking for customers to assist and was well prepared to do so in a friendly and informative manner when the need arose.
If corporations still aren’t seeing the value in social media, consider this: In a matter of minutes my entire impression of Comcast was changed for the better, and I strongly believe they retained a subscriber that they might have otherwise lost.
- by AWSC
- posted at 10:28 am
- July 23, 2012