Twitter and Customer Service

Based on a true experience:

“This past weekend I came back to my rental car to find that I couldn’t turn the ignition key at all. I tried the key while yanking on the steering wheel and the gear shift, but no luck. I was at a loss, and turned to Twitter to see if anyone knew anything about this undocumented feature of the Pontiac G5 (Detroit’s woes are easier for me to understand after this experience). I tweeted “Ignition key won’t turn at all in rented Pontiac G5. Anyone got any ideas – help!”

Within a few minutes I got 16 responses back. They all told me essentially the same thing – that there was no trick specific to that car, and that the key was to keep cranking on the steering wheel while turning the key. I did so, and eventally got the damned thing to start.

My point with this story is not just to bust on GM, but also to highlight that I got 16 shots of altruism from people, most of whom I didn’t know, at a time when I could really use them.

They were willing to help me out not because I’m such a good friend of theirs (not the case) or such an obviously great guy (depends heavily on who you talk to), but because we humans like being altruistic, and Twitter makes altruism the work of a few seconds. The help I got cost each each sender virtually nothing, yet added up to a highly valuable resource for me. I think it’s important not to lose sight of that, and to keep in mind that not all exchanges are governed by incentives, mutual benefit, or economic rationality. Sometimes they’re governed by simple neighborliness, and Twitter is an awfully big neighborhood.” Andrew McAfee

(Andrew McAfee is currently an Associate Professor in the Technology and Operations Management area at Harvard Business School.)

This story reminds me of a good friend of mine who works at University GM here in Tallahassee, Tim Barry.  As a GM Internet Manager, he knows more about Pontiacs, Cadillacs, GMCs, HUMMERs, and Buicks than anyone I know.  He is the kind of guy that would respond to that question in a heartbeat.

If you are in customer service for your business and you aren’t on Twitter listening for feedback from your customers, you are missing an opportunity to provide a greater than expected level of service.  CLICK HERE to create a Twitter Account.

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TallyDigitalBiz

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About tallydigitalbiz

As a Digital Media Consultant for small businesses and non-profits in Tallahassee, I have the opportunity to collaborate with the most creative and innovative people. Everyday is filled with new opportunities to partner with people who are passionate about what they do. The status quo isn't going to get you there. Website: www.catalystcgllc.com Mobile: 850-980-9222 Email:mwinn@catalsytcgllc.com
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