Customer Service Secret Weapon Revealed!

January 31, 2009

Are you sick of navigating phone menus and hearing the recorded voice say, “Due to unexpectedly high call volumes your wait time is approximately 5 minutes”?

Well for some businesses there’s a new, simple way that you can ask them questions and advice online.  The list of companies below are some examples of businesses that are communicating with customers on the social media site Twitter.

Each company varies a little on how it uses Twitter to interact with customers but examples of the benefits of following these businesses on Twitter are:

  • Ask questions
  • Read other people’s questions and the responses
  • Get product announcements
  • Find out about upcoming promotions or deals

Customer Service Secret!

One of the great things about Twitter is that your average consumer doesn’t know they can communicate with companies using the service so it’s relatively easy to be heard when you have a question or complaint.

Take Allstate Insurance for example, their Twitter page states that they provide insurance to approximately 17 million households, yet they only have 193 people “following them” on Twitter. (Following a Twitter account is basically subscribing to read updates from that account).

Here is a customer service conversation example from Allstate on Twitter:

Customer – “Damn @allstate you forgot to send me that Enrollment letter when I signed up for Easy Pay, now you’re bending me over without lube.”

Allstate“@stratparrott I’m sorry there is a problem. You should have received a withdrawal schedule. Are things fixed for the future?”

Customer“@allstate nope I wasn’t notified but my payment is credited but in 3-5 days which is unacceptible it won’t really matter by then”

Allstate“@stratparrott if you like, send me a DM with your contact info. I can forward to second level support who can investigate more.”

… Customer sends direct message (DM) in private to Allstate

Allstate – “@stratparrott I’ve referred to second-level support. They should contact you before 2:00 ET.”

This conversation happened over the course of several hours but the customer wasn’t sitting on hold, wasting their time while they waited.  Instead, they would occasionally check their Twitter page to see if they had any replies.

Companies are still figuring out the best way to use Twitter to help out their customers but for some it can be a great way to have your customer service needs addressed without waiting on hold. Here is a list of some larger businesses that are on Twitter:

Have you had you have any customer service experiences on Twitter?  I’m on Twitter as well, you can see my thoughts here.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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