I tried an experiment a few weeks ago. It was initiated by a call I received from a collections company for an amount less than $35. The rub was that it was for an AT&T bill that I’d paid more than eight months earlier and had unsuccessfully tried to get their customer service reps to remove from their system. Given my interest in keeping my credit record clean, I was none too pleased about being hounded by a collector due to someone else’s goof-up.
Sixty seconds later I was Tweeting about my negative experience. Keeping it under 140 characters wasn’t easy but I got the message across. I figured at best someone else out there would empathize, or at worst, my note would be ignored and disappear into cyberspace. Much to my surprise, within an hour of my comment I received a response from someone on the AT&T social media tracking team.
His name was Chris, and his bio introduced him as a manager with the AT&T Customer Care/Social Media team who had been with AT&T for 10 years. Chris asked me to follow him so we could share our contact information and find a solution to my problem. Two days later, my billing issue was fixed and my faith in the system restored. More importantly, my belief in the power of social media had been reaffirmed.
It’s been widely reported how many companies have been diving into this space, but I was understandably pleased to see how it could benefit an average consumer like me. This is exactly how it needs to be done. In the end, just as I had sent out a Tweet ripping AT&T when I had a beef with them, I followed this experience with a positive message sending them kudos for a job well done. No matter how big or small your organization is, this is a great example of how using social media properly can make a difference.
Have you had a similar experience? Send a note and let us know.