Disconnected Customer Service

by Kim Stangle

Social media has changed so many landscapes.  One major change is how consumers communicate with brands.  And it’s proven to be a difficult landscape to navigate for many.  How quickly, if at all, do you respond to complaints and praise?  When do you take a conversation offline?  Do you respond to everything?  If not, how do you determine what to respond to?

Many advanced brands have seen the value and invested in teams to manage the process.  Laurie Meacham shared Jet Blue’s remarkable customer service strategy at last year’s Social Fresh conference.  One of their key points is collaboration between all team members, not just those in one department or another.

I was reminded of the importance of this connection when our cable modem was zapped by lightning last weekend.  Instinctually, I called the 800 number for our local provider, Brighthouse.  The call was fine, a service call was scheduled and I was on my way to a working modem the next day.  Or so I thought.

When the tech didn’t show up in the service window we agreed to, I again called customer service.  This time, I was met with a less than helpful customer service agent who couldn’t offer much assistance.  In fact, there was an overall sense that it didn’t matter much at all that we’d shelved plans to be available for the service window that they’d scheduled and missed.

Naturally, I took to Twitter.  Within minutes of my tweet, I received a response from @BrighthouseCare.  Not only were they helpful, but they were empathetic and apologetic for the misstep.  Beyond that, they rescheduled the service call for me and asked that I follow up if there were any issues.

How could the service have been so vastly different?  One left me wanting to cut the cable cord immediately, while the other deserves a pat on the back for above and beyond customer service.

Brighthouse, if you’re listening, it’s time to insist that customer service is handled the same across the board.  And, if you need some training tips, look no further than your own social media team.

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