Big businesses using social media to improve customer experience

14 05 2009

As a consultant working in the field of service management I am always looking for examples to use with customers.

Last week I had a really great personal experience of how a big business can use social media to improve customer experience.  After a frustrating period of service problems with my home broadband connection I posted the following post on Twitter in conversation with my friends: “Good Morning All! I ask myself “will today be another frustrating Battle with Virgin Media day”?    

Imagine my surprise when @VirginMedia tweeted back to me shortly later to ask if there was any way they could help with my problems.  I was impressed that they are not just listening but also pro-actively getting in touch. After an exchange of emails to explain my problems I was called by someone of influence who listened to my issues and set someone to work on solving them. This was an unusual and suprisingly refreshing experience I have to say.

The next train of events resulted in the VirginMedia representative not just resolving my issues, but also understanding where some of their internal processes and systems could be improved to prevent similar things happening for other customers.  I have to report that their service recovery was brilliant. It reminded me that the true measure of a good service company is how well they recover when the inevitable service issue arises.  When the problems were eventually closed I tweeted again a short message to say how pleased I was: “those nice folks @virginmedia proactively tweeted me to find out and sort all my problems and made me a very happy customer again…”  It was only a few minutes later that I got a message back thanking me for my positive endorsement.

I think this is a great example of a company using Twitter to listen to the opinions of customers.  In doing so they not only put my problems right but also turned me into a strong advocate for their services.  The several hundred people who listen to me, and in turn to their friends,  now know that I rate the VirginMedia service highly and that is important in today’s word-of-mouth marketing world.

I think more companies should take heed and embrace Twitter and other social media platforms to engage with customers for mutual benefit.  Why not try it and see the results for yourself. Get in touch if you would like to discuss how you can integrate Social Media into your service operation.

James Rock  www.cultivar.co.uk  or find me on Twitter: @james_rock

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