Why I Love Twitter for Customer Support

I’ve had many opportunities lately, with a move and other business related service changes or issues, to test out our many modes of customer service alternatives. I continue to have best success with Twitter. Why? A few rants and results:

1. Comcast Internet. I move, literally out one door & in the next, same building. They tell me my address doesn’t exist. Really? My last 2 years with Comcast internet in this unit were a dream? Finally get appointment, “someone will call first”, no one does. Phone calls and chats, I’m still using internet through the wall in my apartment for 2 weeks.

Move to Twitter- @ComcastWill to the rescue, escalates me to executive support. Shantae calls me immediately, admits Comcast screwed up, simply needed to add my new unit number to the database. Back in business!

Twitter: 2 days to technicians & live internet. A credit for my woes.
Phone and Chat: 2 weeks of irritation, no resolutions or follow up.

2. Adobe. I use an annual service. Going to update my CC info I realize they billed me at 6 months instead of 12 last year. I call, listen to bad music for 30 minutes. Go to chat while I wait. A paraphase of a chat that went from kind to livid.

Blah blah blah, about 30 minutes in, the pleasantries end…

Me: Let’s break it down. I paid for 2 years, I’ve had it for 1.5, you should not bill me again or give me 6 months credit against this bill to sync up the cycle.
Adobe: But you have 2.
Me: Yes, but 2 is 2 years, it has been 1.5 years since my account inception. I am one person with one account, one login.
Adobe: But then why did you pay for 2?
Me: Because you charged my card on file.
Adobe: But you have 2 so we billed you for two. (What?!)

(more circles, skip ahead….)

Me: Just give me a credit for 6 months and I’ll up my subscription again.
Adobe: We can’t, the system won’t allow it.
Me: You tell me your billing system doesn’t allow credits?
Adobe: No it is not possible.
Me: yes it does, I had a career in building these systems. Please escalate my issue as you are unable to help me.
Adobe: No it is not possible.

And it went on until the 5th time I asked to be escalated and they told me they wouldn’t be able to help me either.

For the love of all that is sane!!! I built and managed customer service programs for over a decade. Anyone that reported to me will assure you, I understood their pain, the thick skin it takes to be on that phone or chat, the crazy nutjobs that call and swear at them at will. I am kind to customer service people. But after an hour of this nonsense I resorted to: “FOR CHRIST SAKE STOP REPEATING YOURSELF AND IGNORING THE LOGIC. YOU DON’T GET IT AND CLEARLY CAN’T HELP ME. I’VE ASKED FOR ESCALATION 5 TIMES NOW WHY WON’T YOU!”

He finally says someone will call me but won’t be able to do anything. End chat. The survey I am promised miraculously does not appear.

Now I need a ginormous glass of wine. Next day. Twitter. BOOM:

Twitter: Resolved in moments. Someone even called to make sure the credit hit my card.
Phone and Chat: Over 2 hours combined waiting for phone & dealing with chat insanity. Driven to drink. No resolution and failed promised follow up.

Now, I’m thrilled Twitter resolves with such ease. My greater question is however- why is it the Twitter team trained so differently than the phone team or the chat team? Should I have to announce my woes to the world of social media to get the service I deserve? Or are they so segmented that one team truly has no idea what the other is doing? Are they trained by drastically different management teams who have completely different policies and procedures? My interpretation of their training is this:

Twitter Team: Help the customer, make it quick and easy.
Phone/Chat Team: Hold on to every last dime the company has, resist the customer, refuse to help them, they probably need our software and can’t afford to leave us anyway. Frustrate them into submission!

I love how social media has brought more options to consumers, but there is clearly a need for more internal centralization of policy and training of staff to leave both sides content at the end of the discussion AND save both sides money and grief.

Have you experienced a Twitter support success? Share your experience in the comments!

Twitter Loves Visual Media Too!

As many of you already know, statistics show great results in the use of visual images, photography or video, in social media. Often people think this rule only applies to blogs, Facebook or Google Plus because of their presentation format.

What not as many realize the similar power that visual media can add to Twitter. “But Twitter is so small”! You say? In characters, yes… But Twitter has changed their user interface over the years, and also, keep in mind, there are many ways someone can view a Twitter feed. Here are some examples of how Tweets show up on different sites and in different formats.

1. I’ll start with a tip: As much as I LOVE Hootsuite, I must stray from it every now and again. Here is why – this is what Tweets look like in Hootsuite- Your standard Twitter handle, hashtags, links, etc. Great! But you need to be intrigued by the copy to click.

2. See that Tweet above from @BridgesCourt mentioning me with a link? Well it looks very different on my iPhone. One tap and I’m on YouTube watching a video!

3. Same idea with uploading pictures to Twitter. Here is one from Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, viewed on my iPhone. If you see the picture he references by the way, it should be reported!

4. What if you are the web on good ol’ Twitter.com? This first screen shot is a stream of Tweets. Notice where it allows you to click for more. Depending on the content you’ll see, expand, view summary, view photo, view media.

5. And when you click “view photo”, well, there it is!

So, always remember that if you are trying to create a strong presence on Twitter, to go beyond the quotes, articles, tips and such. Those things are great for Twitter, but keep that visual content coming on Twitter as well so you find ways to creatively stand out. At the end of the day, all social media love good, genuine, creative, insightful content.

Now, go Tweet something visually enticing!

No One Cares who Unfollowed you on Twitter

Does anyone else find these 
Tweets  —> 
as  pointless as I do?  Ok, maybe your ego makes you curious, but does anyone else care?  Do you think your followers read this Tweet, click on all of the links thinking “wow, I can’t believe this jerk unfollowed @insertwhinytweeterhere
I’m going to show them by unfollowing them too!”

Consider:

1.  Twitter has limits and faults.  While I’ve used apps to whitelist people I never want to unfollow even if they never follow me back, I have found myself able to follow them again.  (seriously, I would never intentionally unfollow @CarolJSRoth or @ChrisBrogan)

2.  Most power users are using some sort of automation tool that unfollows people who do not reciprocate in ‘N’ days, or who appear to fit the profile of a spammer.  Perhaps you fall into one of those categories.

3.  There are an infinite number of third party software applications out there supporting Twitter growth.  These may be developed by a highly VC funded software company with a QA team, or it may have been created, and solely supported, by your 12 year old neighbor with great coding skills. Often you cannot distinguish between the two.  Again, faults exist, they are mostly free, deal with it.

4.  Maybe the person is using Twitter for a particular business purpose, and you do not fit this profile.  This isn’t a personal attack, this is strategic efficiency.

5.  And finally, social media is about creating a community.  When you post this sort of nonsense you look like the kid on the playground who kicks first and then cries and tattles when the kick is reciprocated.  If you stop posting negative Tweets trying to make others look bad, maybe people would stop unfollowing you…


Social Media: Your Business’ Economic Stimulus Package

When business building & networking, pretty much daily the question comes up, ‘Why do you do what you do?’ Before digging deeper, there are many common responses:

1. I have a strong skill set here and a lot of value to add to growing businesses.
2. I find this work fun & fulfilling, let me take the load off for others who don’t enjoy it so they can focus on their core genius.
3. There is a huge need here I am honored and thrilled to be able to fill it.  And the list goes on… 

In a coaching session with the fabulous Harriet DiCerbo of Mosaic Path, her line of questioning took me further, and allowed me to say something I normally would have felt immodest or arrogant saying, so it took a while to spit out, but dammit, it’s true! “I want to, and believe I can help stimulate the economy via social media!”

Econ_jscreationzs

What?- Lil ol me, stimulate the economy? But why not? Why not all of us? We all have great business knowledge to share with others. Knowledge is infinite, meanwhile, most of us only have access to 10% of our brain. Something you find simple and basic could be someone else’s enlightening moment and vice versa. Don’t discount yourself.
So how can you use social media to stimulate the economy and your business or career? 

1. Times are tough, budgets are strapped (not one of those enlightening tidbits, I know). A small investment in social media strategy and education will facilitate the ongoing use of tools that are free. Your recurring cost can be limited to only time. It shocks me how many businesses still take out classifieds, TV ads, radio ads; advertising the majority of the population simply tunes out. Save excess funds, allocate a smaller portion to social media education, and then run with your new model on a budget while capturing more business!  Not to discount those modalities completely, but track metrics to see what is truly bringing you ROI.

2. Sadly, I see local brick and mortars pop up quickly, only to find the storefront is up for lease again shortly thereafter. Many watch bottom line by not advertising, but as I frequently & cheesily reference- “If you build it, they will not necessarily come.” (Even if you believe they will, in the movie, they were ghosts. Ghosts don’t make good customers, they scare the real ones away & don’t buy stuff.)
Social media lets people know you are there. A small investment gives you a way to establish brand awareness. At the very least, get your Google Profile completed, claim your Google Place, and put yourself on the virtual map. It’s free!

3. Businesses are cutting back by not attending or postponing trade shows and conferences. This drastically impacts the goals of a sales team who may normally rely on these events to fill their pipeline, earn commissions, thus feeding their family & paying their mortgage. Seeing a company make this decision, and then seeing same company has no presence on LinkedIn literally saddens me. When used to its fullest, proactively, and with proper etiquette, you will see your pipeline grow and sales soar. As a side bonus, your cold calling can head to the grave. Even those cold calling for 20 years tell me it is still the most dreaded part of their day.

4. While we are on the topic of trade shows and conferences, did you know Twitter allows you to be a fly on the virtual wall? Don’t get pissed at your boss for keeping you at your desk; surprise them by saying~ “Cool! No problem! I’ll attend free from my desk!” Find the Hashtag and join the Twitter stream. The July eWomen Network Conference in Dallas used #eWN2011, and is still going strong weeks later. Several tools allow you to follow hashtags, archive and save them. You can meet people, learn from speaker sessions, engage and do business.

5. Are you job hunting and using Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com exclusively? To those of you also deep sighing with an eye roll, I know…. it shocks me how many think this is still the way to go. These jobs are already stale and likely have spent quality time already on LinkedIn. They probably are already down to the final 3 candidates and have it out there just in case they all get hit by a bus. If you aren’t on LinkedIn maximizing your profile and connections, while exercising caution on your other social profiles like Facebook & Twitter, you better believe that other candidates have both legs, and arms, up on you.

Daily I encounter entrepreneurs and business owners who are simply not yet aware of the power of these tools, or the current state of the technology. In many cases people simply feel overwhelmed by getting started, understandably so! Just pick one thing, start slow, and as Nike says “Just Do It”! It’s better to start getting a toe wet slowly than to keep it forever in your Nike.

Considering the power in these few tools, and how many more are available, I look back and think, “Yes, the more people I can show how to do this, the more people get jobs, the more businesses get business & create brand evangelists, I am stimulating the economy!” And it’s fun too. That’s pretty cool!

  • Graphics courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net | jscreationzs