Wednesday, January 13, 2010

AT&T, Twitter, And Not Making Social Media A Quick Fix.

I have an iPhone which I love on most days.  Ok, some days.  On the days my calls go through.  On the days my calls do not go through I can be found complaining continuously about the iPhone and my service provider AT&T.  One day last week I was so angry that I did what any self respecting social media addict would do.  I took it to Twitter.

"Dear AT&T, it's not that I don't appreciate all of your late Xmas gifts of dropping EVERY call I make because I do. Really."

So around 2 minutes later someone from AT&T messages me to give her my e-mail because she wants to help me fix the issue.  I am impressed.  I am thrilled to be heard.  I am thinking smugly 'finally an issue that has been solved by a Twitter feed' and also 'damn, AT&T has got a great social monitoring team'.

When I give them my e-mail I get a response from someone else at AT&T about 5 minutes later asking for my number so we can get this all figured out.  I am elated.  It was so efficient, easy, fast to fix this.  I think about all the other companies that should be using Twitter to monitor company complaints (Charter is, Best Buy is).

The next day someone else from AT&T calls me and tells me that I am having dropped calls for 1 of 5 reasons.  I ask him if he can check my area reception.  He tells me to go and get a new iPhone.  I tell him the New Jersey-ite has an iPhone and doesn't drop as many calls.  He tells me again to go and buy a new phone to SEE if that works.  I am no longer elated.

Social media critique:  The Twitter team is impressive and has done an amazing job catching angry people and getting them to e-mail (looking at their Twitter feed that responds to angry Tweets you can see there are a LOT of people hating on AT&T online).  The e-mail team is doing awesome in getting someone on the phone with me.  After that, not so good.  Same old phone company.  Here's the thing, Twitter and social media in general can be a great extension of your customer service but the service that you give once the online customer is funneled offline has to be great as well. 
Social media is only going to be as good as the company (and service) that backs it up. 



Blogger aurora said...

Thanks for telling your story! So we don't get confused and assume that companies' customer service is great all of a sudden just because they're on twitter..

January 13, 2010 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Royce said...

That is a pretty cool story about them finding you, despite their crappy attempts to solve your actual problem

January 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM  

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