[tweetmeme source=”barrydewar” alias=”http://ow.ly/22FE” only_single=false]There’s been a move recently, by some very high profile companies, to begin using Twitter for customer support. They monitor the service for mentions of their brand and, if there’s a problem, they very publicly and visibly step in to elevate the problem and make sure it’s solved.
They do this because they can see the potential for social networks to amplify any negative feeling. It’s a good point. But it doesn’t solve the problem.
The Emperors new clothes
In pretty much all these cases, the customer service from these companies is basically just bad. By tackling visible complaints all they are doing is creating a handful of individual happy customers while simultaneously making the rest of their customers that little bit more pissed off that they’d not getting the same treatment.
If social media is to teach us anything it’s that we have to change the way we interact with out customers across the board. Online and off we need to treat them with more respect and ensure that they are always satisfied. As social media grows in it’s influence people will become wise to these new tricks. Companies who hand-pick those who shout the loudest to get the best treatment will be viewed with the same derision as cold callers are at present.
So here’s my advice
Sort out your customer service first, then offer the same level of service in your social media channels. This way you will grow a network of happy brand advocates who talk about you just as glowingly in the hairdressers as they do on Twitter.