Customer service in the age of social media

 In customer service, social business, 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 (like instagram, just under my control).


And @ThamesWater replied

Just 24 hours later – it had been fixed.


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..


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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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.