Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Web 2.0: Micro-blogging and Customer Service

I've been on the micro-blogging service twitter for quite awhile and recently began following Frank Eliason - a Comcast employee on Twitter as comcastcares. It's interesting to watch the interaction between comcastcares and twitter users disgruntled in some way with Comcast. Some of the complaints are performance issues; others are full-blown rants - each deftly dealt with by comcastcares - all (complaints and responses) in 140 characters or less. Here a quick snapshot of comcastcares twitter stream; complaints followed by responses.

Colleges need to look seriously at tools like twitter. I see many potential applications, including connecting with students in the department, potential students, former students, disgruntled students, employers, etc. Librarians could man twitter and answer questions. Admissions could provide registration, financial aid, tuition, an other information. When you think about it, the applications are really unlimited. In an increasingly competitive environment, we have do everything we can to get students and to keep them. It really is customer service!
Wikinomics - Blog Archive » A New Age in Customer Service
A few days ago, an article written in the business column told a story about Comcast responding to a complaint by C.C. Chapman about his service. While watching his HDTV, the reception starting becoming very poor so Chapman quickly started expressing his anger on Twitter and “within 24 hours, a technician was at Chapman’s house in Milford to fix the problem.”

“Chapman’s experience is one example of the ways customer service is changing in an age when a single disgruntled consumer with a broadband connection can ignite a crisis,” from Carolyn Y. Johnson, the author of the article.

The article shows the power of ordinary people fighting against large corporations. For fun, in Google, I searched “Comcast complaints” and found over 1,870 listings and without quotations around the phrase Google brings up over a million listings.
It seems like Comcast finally got the message. With the emergence of Web 2.0 ordinary people can have their voice heard and create a terror of a public relations problem for companies. “Listening and acting upon what [customers] are hearing and being very proactive is different than waiting for a customer to pick up the phone and call us. We can nip it in the bud,” said Karen Hartzell, division vice president of customer care for Comcast’s NorthCentral division.

In the new business environment, companies need to implement a team of individuals to help combat the conversations about their company. By combat, I am not referring to a retaliation, but providing a solution to the problem. Working with customers to generate a satisfying customer experience is essential to thriving in business today. Customer service is just one of the departments shifted by Wikinomics.

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1 comment:

Nancy said...

As of July 15, 2008 my "Comcast Package" was altered eliminating channels 16, 41 MSNBC, 44 TRUTV, 47OXYGEN and 66. These stations have been included in the package since the onset. How does Comcast get away with breaking this contract? Not paying my bill would be a breach of contract and my service would be shut off. What is my recourse?


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