02 Dec Twitter: A social media steam valve
Twitter is like an emotional outburst: Tweets are brief, immediate, expressive, short-lived and attention getting.
That’s why it’s no surprise that Twitter has become a great tool for customer service. On any given day, users are bashing and celebrating their favorite brands in 140 characters or less. Some brands (such as AT&T) are so unpopular at times that they become ‘trending topics’ on Twitter for awhile.
Here are some recent outbursts:
- andrewalger: Is it weird that I am enjoying sending e-mail to @allstate and complaining about their service. I worked in brand strategy on the last one
- 1meghanlandry: My phone doesnt work between 830 and 330…..so i im done tweeting till after school:( DONT GET ATT!!!!
- cjosof: I’m just going to start paying a percentage of my cable bill since I’m getting only a percentage of what I’m currently paying for. Charter.
- joled: Currently in dunkin donuts in N.J.-worst customer service ever.
- wendypetty: Geico sucks, I need to switch insurance, I’m thinkin progressive…they have good commercials…
- carabeths123: Nielsen has the worst customer service. So sad.
- KatieLFunk: @BurgerKing I’ve just had the worst experience ever in Ft Lauderdale Fl You need to work on ur customer service. I’m now eating at McDonalds
- GULF_FISHING I made a complaint on RIPOFF REPORT about State Farm CEO Ed Rust, Jr emailing out my kids’ full names to strangers.
Customers are increasingly comfortable using social networks as a venting ground for bad experiences. According to recent research from Euro RSCG Worldwide (via eMarketer), 20 percent of consumers feel that social media is a good environment to ‘lash out about or at companies or their brands.’ This is because social networks provide a modest level of anonymity and a high level of exposure — a combination that can provide immediate satisfaction to frustrated consumers with little risk, or inconvenience.
For marketers, Twitter is a mixed blessing. It attracts steam — by generating a higher volume of negative sentiment — but negative comments on Twitter also dissipate quickly. Addressing negative comments appropriately, as they arise on Twitter, can prevent or reduce the likelihood that the same negative sentiments will propagate to longer-living online destinations (blogs, Amazon.com, consumer review sites, local search listing, Google SideWiki, etc.).
Letting dissatisfied customers know that they’ve been heard — and resolving problems or addressing concerns as quickly as possible — goes a long way.
Many dissatisfied critics can be converted into brand advocates with a sincere, prompt and thoughtful company response.
Recent columns by Troy Janisch
- Sweat and dollars: Strong social media programs grow in tight spaces
- CRM is social. Social networks make CRM conversational.
- Social media is key for professionals in a weak economy
- My personal guarantee: No one has EVER complained about your company using social media
- Hey Google, let’s say goodbye to millions of search results
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