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The New Customer Experience: How Twitter Can Save You Customers

Posted by Josh Mendelsohn on Thu, Feb 18, 2010

Customer Experience ResearchToday on the Research Brief Blog, Genesys, with Greenfield Online and Datamonitor/Ovum analysts, estimated that U.S. companies lose an estimated $83 billion each year due to defections and abandoned purchases as a direct result of a poor experience.

More and more often customer experiences are not a face to face or even face to phone interaction.  Often times it is web-based or through social media.  Making sure these interactions are in alignment with your brand has never been more important.  And it has never more important to measure social media within your customer satisfaction and loyalty research programs.

When conducting customer satisfaction research we have always spent a lot of time putting the customer experience in context of the brand and making sure the two are aligned.  More and more this involves understanding alignment and use of social media from both a marketing perspective (what most companies are doing) and a customer service perspective (what smart service organizations are doing.) 

I'll give you a first hand example of the power of Twitter customer service. 

Last week my home wireless network stopped working.  After the tears, the violent shaking, and deep depression subsided I called my provider to see what the problem was.  They sent a "refresh signal" to my cable modem and said to wait 15 minutes to see if it worked.   Well, it didn't.  But I was watching something on TV and concluded that because I could still connect with a hard wire, the router was the problem.  When Saturday rolled around I bought a new router and expected the set up process to take about 15 minutes, 3 hours later I was still trying to get everything working. 

The last hour and a half plus was spent on hold with my provider, Comcast.  I have always defended Comcast in the face of bashing, having never personally had a bad experience.  But this was maddening.  In truth, I didn't know if they could help me at all.  It could have been the router, but I wasn't sure.  I just figured I would start there and move on. 

Customer Experience ResearchBut starting there ended up meaning 90 minutes on hold.  Possibly longer, as I never actually spoke to anyone except a billing contact I wound up with 10 minutes in when I was quickly put back on hold.  At the 100 minute mark I tweeted a complaint and was well on my way to joining the legions of Comcast bashers. 

"Just made the 100 minute mark holding for Comcast customer support. Awesome."

I was just venting, but very quickly I received a direct message from someone named @ComcastBill asking if he could help.  With nothing to lose I responded and after a few messages back and forth he was looking into the problem.  His second suggestion (try taking the battery out of the modem) did the trick and within minutes I was on my way.

I quickly thanked him, both directly and publicly for saving my day - and here I am writing about him now.    By proactively seeing my complaint and acting on it, Comcast was able to make a fan and advocate of me when I was ready to become a loud, obnoxious brand detractor.  Twitter saved me as a customer.  So for those companies wondering if investing in social media is worth it?  In this case it most definitely was. 

Learn more about the state of social media
by downloading our report:
"Why Social Media Matters for Your Business."



Posted by Josh Mendelsohn. Josh is our VP of Marketing and loves live music, pugs, tv, great food, market research, New Orleans, marketing, Boston and sports. You can follow him on Twitter @mendelj2. 

Topics: social media, customer experience and loyalty