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Would you tweet about your washing machine?

If you tweet it, will someone come running? I wondered this as I sat in a session on customer service at the recent CRM Evolution conference.

Two fictitious scenarios were outlined:

Scenario one – A person’s washing machine was broken. They called the customer service line and were required to walk through a complex process to check the warranty, diagnose the problem, and arrange for the repair. This was positioned as the inefficient process that was a horrible hassle for the customer. We’ve all been there.

Scenario two – A customer randomly tweeted that their washing machine was broken and it prompted a series of proactive responses. The customer was contacted by the manufacturer with all information ready to solve their problem and arrange for a service call. This was positioned as the highly efficient process that is remarkably customer friendly. The presenter was touting this as a solution that his company was ready to provide.

As I listened to this I thought of three things:

1. Do people really tweet about their broken washing machines?

2. If they do, are they providing the make and model number? I mean, wouldn’t they need to know that?

3. Is the day coming where we might tweet about something like this and expect companies to come running to serve us?

I don’t know. It seems unlikely that customer relationships will evolve in this manner. After all, at the same conference I learned that even with all the advancements made in customer contact centers, 50% of people still reach a company the old fashioned way – the telephone. However, I hate to underestimate how social media will change the way customer and companies interact.

We’ll see what the future holds. Until then, I’ll probably pick up the phone if my washing machine breaks down.

Patrick Gibbons

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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