I went to Vegas in January, and I wasn’t there for sight-seeing. Being in the age demographic of a 20-something female, I’m obviously going to be taking a LOT of pictures. Naturally I brought my iPhone 4s with me and didn’t let it leave my hot-little hands. A data-plan was important to me while on my vacation because I wanted to be able to share my photos with my friends back in Canada via Instagram, and also be able to text my mom to let her know I was safe…and maybe my friends.
So, I purchased a roaming package from my provider; Bell, and a nice little data plan that would keep me on budget. However, within hours of being in the Sin City, I received a message from Bell saying I had used over 90% of my data. O-M-G. I still had 3 days to go! I called Bell made some amendments and all was well…until I got my $300 cell phone bill the next month. (Insert another O-M-G).
Before panicking and calling Bell to anticipate a 2-hour phone call funneling through various stages of automated voice messages and ‘Emily’ their virtual customer service rep, and ‘real’ customer service reps, I decided to put my digital nerdy-ness to test and complain about my phone bill on Twitter. I wanted to see if their customer service was on point in the digital realm, and how their system worked. I also hate dealing with corporations on the phone because to me, it’s the equivalent of snail mail.
Mentioning @Bell_Mobility I basically stated that my phone bill sucked and so did my data plan. It didn’t take them long to respond. They followed me, sent me a direct message which included an email I could use to contact someone. A much less frustrating customer service funnel – I sent a quick email (several days later when I finally found the time) to explain my situation: I went to Vegas, asked for a data plan and roaming package. They only gave me a roaming package – I used up all my data in a few hours, and they changed it for me. However, they kept my international package going even after my vacation was over causing me to have a ridiculous phone bill AND my data package was never corrected while I was in Vegas. I received an almost immediate response – first that my bill would be corrected and I would receive a credit, but the rep also gave me other data options, but recommended I stick with what I have and try to use online services when I’m on WiFi (DUH!…my bad) I agreed – I usually don’t go over my data plan, so I would test the waters with my current plan for a while longer.
When I got my next phone bill – it was in the minus, hence, I didn’t have to pay anything at all.
I was really impressed with Bell’s communication via Twitter, and how they utilize social media as a customer service outlet. The only thing I wish I had of done, was rather than use Bell Mobility’s Twitter handle bar, use a hashtag instead to see if I got a response. I loved the communication I had from them and the friendliness and helpfulness of the rep was fantastic. I also appreciated that they used a name on their Tweet, this gave me the sense that an actual person was responding to me. They also conformed to my own language, wishing me a ‘killer weekend’. Thanks Bell! I will have a killer weekend!
Corporations should take advantage of social media as a customer service tool. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to sit on a phone call funneling through the various stages of customer service – and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. If you monitor social media properly, you can find out a lot about your customers and cater to their needs, and also engage with them. With a big corporation like Bell, I honestly did not think I would get a response. I think many customers feel like a needle in a hay stack when trying to resolve problems.
The amount of users on Twitter is extensive, which means there is a lot of opportunity to connect with customers quickly, and give them a sense of belonging, and an important part of their business. The idea is to give your customers as many outlets as possible to engage with you. I really loved Bell’s social media strategy. Smaller businesses and companies can adapt a similar strategy, although they may not need someone to ‘man the outlet’s’ at all hours. But like Bell, track people who Tweet you, and develop a hashtag tracking strategy on platforms like Hootsuite to see who is talking about you so you can respond.
My initial Tweet was negative. As a brand – you don’t want people saying negative things about you, so you should have a strategy in place to be able to respond to negative Tweets quickly. I work in the industry, so I know enough to turn my response around – plus I was happy with the outcome. I sent out a positive Tweet thanking Bell for their fabulous customer service – which is probably what they were aiming for.
Look at social media as a reputation management strategy – it’s a great way to keep a clean, and REAL image of your brand
Have you had any contact with big corporations such as Rogers? I would LOVE to hear about your experience with them