Customer service in the age of social media

Many of you know that I no longer deal with organisations the old way – I don’t like waiting in a telephone queue because “my call is important”.

Instead, I tweet.

On Tuesday night, I was out walking and came across a fairly major water leak.

Not knowing which number to call, I remembered that back in 2010, I used the Thames Water Tweet-A-Leak service to report a water leak.

So I simply whipped out my phone, took a picture of the leak so that they could see it was bad, and uploaded it to my own picture sharing service at pic.gs (like instagram, just under my control).

tweetaleak-before

And @ThamesWater replied

Just 24 hours later – it had been fixed.

tweetaleak-fix

So if “old school” companies such as Thames Water can rise to the challenge and integrate new media channels such as social media into their workflows, then your company should be able to do this as well.

Some advice for Thames Water: They could make their twitter handle (@thameswater) and #tweetaleak hashtag much more prominent though.

On this page there is no mention of how I report a leak via twitter even though their home page (shown below) says you can tweet them but does not tell you how. Please fix this Sarah..

thames-report

I will be writing more comprehensively in 2013 about social business, and how it will fundamentally change the way companies deal with customers – for the better.

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About 

Based in London, Andrew is an internationally renowned thought leader in the field of social business and social media networks. Andrew is a Global Partner with IBM, with a focus on Social Business.



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  • http://twitter.com/marketingblogs/status/289165057814851584/ (@marketingblogs) (@marketingblogs)

    Customer service in the age of social media http://t.co/aqaMmpgq

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    London Calling: Customer service in the age of social media: Many of you know that I no longer deal with organis… http://t.co/nfvzMGRZ

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    Customer service in the age of social media http://t.co/GjE4DA6u < terrific example from @andrewgrill @thameswater

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  • 5c0tt

    I’ve had excellent customer care from Skype and Vodafone via Twitter, only to have the experience destroyed when they hand me back to ‘traditional’ customer care. Yelp was also very good, yet surprisingly SpecSavers were awful, despite a stellar in-store experience. As for Ted Baker, they might as well not have a Twitter account.

  • AndrewGrill

    I’ve had excellent customer care from Skype and Vodafone via Twitter, only to have the experience destroyed when they hand me back to ‘traditional’ customer care. Yelp was also very good, yet surprisingly SpecSavers were awful, despite a stellar in-store experience. As for Ted Baker, they might as well not have a Twitter account.

  • http://londoncalling.co/ AndrewGrill

    5c0tt And this is where organisations that DO have a twitter presence pay the “Twitter tax” – read more at http://lc.tl/tax. You need to understand with social service that the person who takes the fault/leak.complaint needs to see it through and not hand it off. Companies that do this well are great examples of a social business.

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    AndrewGrill 5c0tt The interesting things with Skype was that I spent 4 days with their  LiveChat and email support, then went to Twitter and said I would post an update on the status of my issue each day until it was resolved. Fixed in 12 hours. Companies should be looking at delivering consistent care, no matter what the channel. However, it is my belief it comes down to the kind of person that manages the Twitter account vs answers calls on a helpdesk. From what I’ve seen there is more energy, ownership and interest from those working the social channels than the others

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  • http://www.hyken.com/ ShepHyken

    Great to see “old school” companies stepping into the “new world” way of doing business and embracing social media.  I wonder what Thames Water’s Kred score is???

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