I love twitter. Yes, I know it’s in cyberspace and that’s I post random things to people that I’ve never met (well I haven’t met all of them, yet) but I can honestly get lost in it, and before I know it, I’ve spent 3 hours looking at my phone. Me, anti-social?! Never!
Anyway, what this post is actually about, is how I’ve gotten better service from someone sitting behind a pc or using their cellphone, than what I’ve gotten from calling into various call centres. And believe me, I have issues *side eyes*
Now I’m going to list some of the companies that I’ve dealt with via twitter, but this list isn’t based on whether or not I got what I wanted; it’s based on the level of service, regardless of the outcome.@Absa – Absa is one of the banks here in South Africa; after spending 18 minutes on hold to their call centre regarding my boss’ log book for his paid off vehicle, I tweeted a picture of the time spent from my landline at work, and within 5 minutes I had a tweet back, and confirmation that they had received my boss’ documents, and that they were on it. We stayed in contact throughout the next week and by the following Friday, my boss had received the required paperwork via courier. Relatively painless, and all done via twitter. @Rbjacobs – a ‘spokesperson’ for FNB, another bank here in South Africa. I bank with FNB, and any issue, no matter how big or small, RB interacts within minutes of tweeting him. ‘He’ also interacts just in normal conversation, and he’s become quite well known in the South African twitterverse 🙂 I don’t actually even tweet him anymore; I e-mail him my queries if they’re private, and yesterday for example, I had a phone call within an hour of e-mailing him to answer my banking query. @DStv and @DStvCare – DStv is 1 of our tv satellite providers here in South Africa; very pricey but the alternative isn’t that great. As much as they infuriate me with their pricing and terms and conditions, their twitter guys are quite on the ball, and are generally quite fast in replying to queries. Complaints not so much; it took them 18 hours to sort out my mom’s decoder, and that was after I had spent almost 45mins on the phone to them. @MWEBGuy – MWeb is an internet service provider in South Africa, one of the biggest if I’m not mistaken. I think that they have a 24hr team on twitter, because any tweet to them is answered within a few minutes, no matter the time of day or night. Very good service that I have personally received from them. @Discovery_SA – Discovery is a medical aid here in South Africa and the one that I am currently with. Not one single medical aid company is perfect; they do not pay for everything even though we pay out of our backsides for the cover, however I personally have not had a single major issue with them. My first ever major claim was in 2010; R35,000.00 for my daughter’s 1 week hospital stay – paid in full. My hand surgery in 2011, R7,000.00 for a day procedure – paid in full. My daughter’s hospital visit in August this year; R41,000.00 – paid in full. Various other short hospital stays, 2-3 days all paid in full. Specialist visits, all paid in full. I’m a stickler for the rules, and I follow them as best as possible. Just submit the correct paperwork, apply for the right authorisations on time, and you won’t have a problem. Anyway, I have dealt with Discovery so often via twitter in the past 18 months or so, that when I tweet them or DM them, they don’t even ask me for my contact details; within 5 minutes of the tweet, I have received a phone call. Honestly speaking, the Discovery SA twitter service levels are beyond fantastic. Phenomenal. A huge pat on the back for them. @mnetmovies – MNet Movies is basically a part of DStv I suppose; before DStv came along there were only 5 channels in South Africa; SABC 1, 2 & 3, MNet and eTV. DStv has broadened that just a ‘little’ bit, with numerous movie, series, documentary etc channels. The person that mans the twitter account for MNet Movies is quite on the ball; constantly tweeting about what movies are premiering that week, and what movies we can look forward to, and if you tweet them and tell them that you don’t like the Sunday night movie for example, they will give you other options to watch on the other movie channels 😀 Also, they run really cool competitions where you can win free movie tickets to premieres showing at the movie theatre, so that’s a good enough reason for me to follow them 😉 @MTNzaService – MTN is a cellular phone network in South Africa, and I happen to be one of their customers. Let’s just say that I am counting down the seconds to June 2014 when I can cancel my cell contract with them. Not only are they quite expensive and don’t have the best network coverage, their twitter response time is rather pathetic. I sent them a tweet in July asking about a price increase on my contract; they got back to me at the end of August I think it was. And I was 1 of the lucky ones that actually got a response. @virginactiveSA – I think that everyone knows the Virgin brand; their twitter feed for the gym branch of the business is very active, and the person handling this account is pretty on the ball. I’ve asked a few questions over the time, and I’ve gotten a response within a day or 2. So not the best service, but not exactly the worst either. @Vodacom & @Vodacom111 – VodaCom is another cellular phone network in South Africa, and I am also a customer of theirs. As much as people bitch and moan about their service levels in the general scheme of things, their twitter response time is pretty darn good, and they do tend to respond to both positive and negative comments quite timeously. Overall a pretty good twitter service. @WOOLWORTHS_SA – Woolworths is one of South Africa’s more upmarket retailers, selling rather overpriced, delicious goodies that one can so very rarely say no to. Their twitter team is pretty on the ball, and as long as you tweet them between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get an answer from them within a reasonable amount of time. I’ve received decent feedback from them, whether it be positive or negative. @SamsungSA – Samsung, the maker of the phone that I am getting in December, the Galaxy S4. I have not personally interacted with Samsung on twitter, but I do follow them and from what I’ve seen, they’re very active with their tweets, and I see a great deal of interaction between other ‘twits’ 😉 Not all of the correspondence has been positive, but the point is, is that it’s feedback, it’s communication, it’s correspondence.
So the point of this post is basically to point out the obvious; if you don’t have a social media outlet, your brand is in trouble. Maybe not serious trouble, but I personally prefer interacting with a company that interacts right back at me. Plus I absolutely detest speaking on a phone; I barely call my friends and family, and now you want me to speak to a complete stranger?! Call centres drive me insane, especially the automated DStv call centre, where you select ‘technical query’ and it takes you to the ‘XtraView’ department, because it’s picked up that you have XtraView on your account. *sigh* Call centres to me are slowly fading out; I waited 18 minutes on the phone to Absa and accomplished nothing; perhaps 8 tweets later and the crisis was averted, and the documents couriered. No speaking, no frustration, just some tweets.
I wonder if one could take over the world via twitter and social media… 😉