As a social media consultant, I have to deal with customers on a daily basis. The customer service aspect of social media is actually one of the least favorite parts of my job.
But today, fed up of being ignored by a brand’s representative for weeks, I myself have turned to social media and used it to get better customer service. And it worked. Within minutes of complaining, on the brand’s Facebook page, that its representative was ignoring my emails, said representative emailed back and fixed the issue.
Social media is a powerful customer service tool because it’s public, which means it gives a lot of power to a single customer. In the past, a grievance between you and a brand was a private thing, handled via phone or email. People still shared their frustrations with their friends, of course, but that was not nearly as powerful as sharing a complaint with 300,000 fans on a brand’s Facebook page. And while some customers abuse their newfound power, lashing out at brands and forgetting that even behind a brand there are still people, I think that this power is a very good thing indeed, as long as we use it politely and only after exhausting private communication methods.
Tonight, after having an issue resolved within minutes after posting it on a brand’s Facebook page, I am very grateful for social media.