Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

Online Customer Service: a Personal Experience

Okay, it’s only happened a couple of times to me, but they were both significant, so they’re worth recounting.

When I moved last year, Comcast said the best way to transfer service to my new house was to just take all the equipment to the new location and give ‘em a call when the hook-up was complete and they’d just turn the switch and voila! we’d have service!

Well, generally speaking, that happened, except for one thing. I have online voice mail access, and no matter what I was doing, or who or how often I was calling, or who was at the other end of the line, they couldn’t make my voice mail appear online. It worked fine on the phone, but I was used to checking it online. For whatever reason, Comcast insists on creating a whole new account when you move and transferring everything over, which was one of the main reasons the voice mail wouldn’t transfer seamlessly.

After several calls in 8 weeks and several promises that it would happen, in my frustration I tweeted:


  @Comcastwill responded right away and connected me with a tech who solved the problem within 24 hours:  


In another instance, my company was  having an ongoing discussion over disagreements in a contract with Cision after we had leased Radian6 to use for social media research for a client. It seemed no matter how we responded or whom we responded to, it was as if no one was listening. The emails, phone calls and letters we sent were ignored. When we did get a communication from Cision, it was always a new person with no knowledge of any previous communication, and the conversation had to start all over from the beginning. We even sent the CEO a registered letter hoping to at least get someone’s attention, but to no avail.

Finally I posted this on Twitter:

Within a couple of days (it wasn’t immediate), I heard back from someone at Cision asking for a phone number so they could contact me. I gave it to them, and was contacted by someone that was actually interested in helping us resolve the issue. It took a few weeks and some back and forth, but it was resolved to our satisfaction.

It really shouldn’t surprise me, but customer service is very active on Twitter. Is it because companies are dedicating resources to tracking online conversations, or manning the Twitter accounts? Are they afraid of having a negative experience go viral, which has happened too many times to count? Is it just smart business? Or is it something else?

Whatever the impetus, I like that there is often a quick way to get someone’s attention and get issues resolved.

  • Samsung customer service ,

    It’s always great to see when companies respond to their customers needs and provide them with care they need. Awesome!

    • Mel White ,

      Hey Tim —

      Do you think you would have had the same response if you have blogged about the problem? Are these companies much more sensitive to tweets or more hyper-connected to Twitter?


      • Tim Patterson ,

        I think the tweet is the only thing in social media that they would have responded to so quickly. A blog post unfortunately gets lost and unless they have a system in place to track comments it would have probably passed unnoticed.

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