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Friday, April 1, 2011

Will social media complaints lead to better customer service?
I absolutely agree that it makes sense for companies to monitor what is being said about them on Facebook and Twitter, and that responding to individual customer problems raised there is essential.  But Geoffrey Colon’s Opinion column in Ad Age (3/21/11) got me thinking..... If I have a product or service problem should I follow the corporate request and email or phone customer service? Or should I complain on Facebook?

If I call I will likely have to fight my way through five voice prompt menus only to reach a service rep after spending 10 minutes on hold.  My contact will be some minimally paid rep who has been trained to say “No” to whatever I ask. I will be speaking with someone who is compensated to offer as little of the company’s money or resources as possible, and to spend as little time as humanly possible communicating with me.

So… which direction are we all being trained to take in the future?  When Facebook triggered customer service becomes the standard rather than the exception will the energy and effort remain as high?  Will corporations really want to spend all that it will cost them to handle that growing mountain of public complaints? (AS they are now being trained to see that the traditional channels get little and that public complaining gets action.) Wouldn’t corporations have been better off doing a better job with the phone and email service channels from the outset and not forcing customers to complain openly?

If I ignore the company’s established system and instead raise my problem on Facebook, a well-paid senior staffer who is trying to prove that they can build more loyal customers will contact me.  They will enthusiastically spend as much time as needed to not only address my problem but to exceed my expectations.  They will reach out to me after the fact to confirm that all is well.

4:41 pm edt          Comments

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