Customer Service and Twitter

The popular notion stating that if a customer receives poor service, he/she will tell nine other people, has been grossly out of date since the advent of the Internet. In reality, customers can electronically tell millions of people about their experiences. And now, with Twitter, people can tell others about their experiences as they happen.

Think about the power of that ability. In the past there was at least a cool down period between the negative service situation and the opportunity to share the news - and we might've just let it go without taking the time to write it up. Now, we can now share the situation while our emotions are still high, and do it in 140 characters or less. It takes mere seconds.

I've seen tweets such as; "Can you believe Dr. (insert name) has kept me waiting for two-hours?" "I'm at (insert name of restaurant). The service here stinks." No blog needed, just a Twitter account and a smartphone. It's liberating for customers and scary for businesses.

But I believe there's an opportunity here for businesses to stress the importance of service. What if every customer interaction was conducted with a "Twitter-worthy" mindset? In your next team meeting, ask your employees to think about this question:

"In every customer interaction you have, imagine the customer is going to immediately 'tweet' about their experience. What would they communicate instantly to all of their contacts about their interaction with you?"

It isn't just a hypothetical question - it's a real issue that is increasing every day.