Customer service with 140 characters instead of 1-800

Getting the best customer service

How many minutes do you think you've spent waiting on customer service calls?

Too many, right? 10 News This Morning anchor Allison Kropff shows you how 140 characters can get you a lot more than calling 1-800.

You've heard that voice before. Probably more than you would like.

“Three minutes. To get somebody on the line.”

So instead of dialing 1-800, Jennifer Brauer opens her Twitter app.

“I was getting a 'sorry we can't help you' or I was getting an automated response and increasingly I just got more frustrated by it. Throw out a tweet, why not, let's see what happens. And every single time, I would get somewhere.”

That includes the time she bought a "Wanna Get Away" ticket from Southwest. When she called customer service she was told they couldn't do anything for her.

So Jennifer started tweeting.

“They're realizing that this is where customers go to complain about their products and services so the very best companies will be responsive on social media,” says University of South Florida professor Kelli Burns.

She says because people always have their phones or tablets with them, it's easy to post about problems.

“A situation can really spiral out of control very quickly on social media. All it takes is for one person to put a tweet out there, one person to retweet that, another person to retweet, another person to comment and before you know it you have a real crisis on your hands.”

That's why companies like Southwest have a team tracking social media 24 hours a day.  Alaska Airlines is the fastest at reacting to social media posts with an average time of 2 minutes and 34 seconds.

And the quick response makes way for a positive post instead.

“If a company does respond and people can see this is a wonderful company that responds to complaints and addresses situations and tries to make things better for its customers,” says Burns.

Within a few hours of sending tweets about her flights, and not having to listen to that elevator music, Jennifer got much more than just a direct message from the airline.

“They asked me about my situation and got an understanding of what happened and I ended up getting a full refund and it was a $700 refund.”

Companies know that when they respond and it's a positive experience for you, it creates loyalty and you're likely to share that on your social media sites.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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