Social Media is Making Customer Service Human

On November 23, 2009, in Customer Experience, Twitter, by Mike D. Merrill (@mikedmerrill)

Twitter StreamThis past Friday morning started out discouraging after a very large GoToMeeting I had planned would not allow my customer to log in. This was a first meeting after an email invitation to discuss what we have done for clients such as ING, BCBS, Aegon, and Hub International. Now I have been using web conferencing services like WebEx and GoToMeeting for years and consider myself an expert. In fact, my first role out of business school involved me working with WebEx to OEM their product into the Alventive Quick Collaboration solution while I was a product marketing manager.

Now this wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but after the initial meeting was setup multiple folks accepted the invite. This was a multi-billion dollar insurance company that was right in our sweet spot for Distribion. Large insurance and financial services companies have been responding well to our value proposition and ability to address pain points in the insurance sales and marketing value chain. There were multiple VPs that had accepted. Needless to say, if I had an opportunity to impress a value proposition and learn more about how their business challenges could be solved, this meeting was it.

About 4 minutes into the call, as I am wondering why no one had logged in or is on the concall, I receive an email from the VP, stating something to the point of “Sorry we tried to log in and there was no one on the concall so maybe next time”. I quickly sent a new invite to all those that were copied asking them to try again. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work either. To make matters worse, I couldn’t get any of them on the phone. As a hunter, you may make 30-50 calls to get a key meeting like this.

I left three of them separate voicemails apologizing and asking to possibly reschedule a 1:1 call. I also suggested a face to face if they saw a possible fit.  In my frustration, I posted to Twitter the above tweet. Shortly after, and much to my delight, @gotowebinar replied with the following:



I of course DM’d him after thanking him for his prompt response. Unfortunately, my customer was not in communication with me so having tech support call them when they weren’t trying to log in anymore wasn’t going to help. While I was still frustrated I was extremely pleased that GoToMeeting and Citrix recognized Twitter as a channel for customer service and have 5 folks dedicated to their Twitter stream. They were most likely monitoring via Radian6 or Google Alerts for their product name. I know there are going to be problems with technology on occasion, but having someone to engage with who cares makes a big difference.

I wanted to leverage the fact that @gotowebinar was reaching out to help and I decided to have them email my power sponsor as a means of possibly diffusing the frustration against me personally. So a big shout out to Glenn Dobson of Citrix for going above and beyond and putting the human back in customer service. If you work for Citrix, send Glenn an email telling him what a great job he’s done. If you don’t, then hire him for your social media team to provide customer service.

Glenn Dobson

Now, I have yet to re-engage with this customer but will continue to try. This is not the first great customer service I have had as a result of Twitter. How about you? Have you seen better customer service as a result of social media and Twitter? Please comment below with your experiences.