A telecommunications company which has been the focus of myire on here before recently screwed up an order with my new service, and I was suitably infuriated. I ranted, swearing, and encountering another moment of my seemingly uncontrollable rage that I am trying to control. I liken it to Bruce Banner’s Hulk, but with less green-ness and more swearing. My anger issues will be the subject of a post soon. After calming down, I vented my frustrations onto Twitter, @ replying the company’s Twitter name for customer help. I’ve done this a few times in recent months, with varying levels of success.
After repeating my wish for help on Monday morning, and a friend pointing out that a real person sits at a desk and deals with replies to this name and my swearing probably didn’t help (not directed at BT that time, natch), I was sent a link by @BTcare and thought it was a fobbing off – a link, I guessed, to their online form that I actively avoided using. But instead I was sent to a Twitter form, one that allowed me to detail my claim and fill in my Twitter name in all. Afterwards, three messages from BT saying they were dealing with my problem and, on Tuesday afternoon, a call from the Twitter team saying they were sorting it all out.
I was surprised. Not that BT could fix their problem, but that Twitter’s direct contact to the company, and a company who have a customer service on Twitter, actually got results. Better than a letter, better than a phone call, and certainly better than an email sent to a random inbox; the personal touch. Plus, it meant I felt like I was being taken care of.
I’ve talked to Scotrail about delays on several occasions, and they actively try to reply to travelers asking questions about services. I’ve also Tweeted my headphone manufacturer about problems I’ve had and praise I’ve had for them, and they’ve helped me out when they could.
In the end, it isn’t a revolution, but a brilliant way to deal with customer’s. And after O2’s failure a few weeks ago, and their exemplary dealing with the ire of customers, humouring them, there is a new wave of PR that some companies need to look into and properly work on. BT, amazingly, are ahead of the pack, and the fact that my problem was solved through Twitter is just fantastic. It’s not all puppy photos, what I am eating for dinner, and commenting on what’s on TV…
As an aside, this is just one of many grand uses I see for Twitter. TV engagement is something that many are realising is the future, with Channel 4 applying hash tags rather than titles to their programs, unifying thoughts and discussion in a great way about their programmes. The more broadcaster’s realise that the world is always on, connected, ready to go, the less and less we will see things delayed. Within five years I predict that a company will rise and produce their own original programming, and have it available for anyone, anywhere, instantly. Netflix are going to do with the new Arrested Development – it’s only matter of time.
The collective human hivemind is now always on. What a time to be alive.