How to get good customer service using social media

WASHINGTON — Even though the old adage says “the customer is always right,” getting a customer service agent’s attention can often be a challenge.

With the increase in shopping on the Internet,  a smaller percentage of shoppers is lining up at customer service counters, but requesting service online can try an already-frustrated customer’s patience.

“Social media platforms are a great way to get attention to your customer service issue,” said Shana Glickfield, founding partner of Beekeeper Group, a D.C.-based public affairs firm.

Businesses are, or should be, investing resources to be able to hear and address customer complaints through social media, Glickfield said.

“When you post your complaint on channels like Facebook or Twitter, you’re sharing your issue in a very public forum, where these companies are more accountable for responding,” she said.

If you need prompt attention, Glickfield suggests spending a few moments researching  whether the company has an official customer service account, rather than addressing comments to the company’s general account.

“You might want to mention specifics, like a flight number or a product line, to help them resolve the issue more promptly,” Glickfield said. “But you don’t want to go into a full rant, where they think they can’t even be helpful.”

While it might feel cathartic, a purely venomous posting won’t help get your issue resolved.

“You don’t want to give too little information, like a general ‘this was just awful,’ kind of complaint,” she said.

Glickfield said companies realize solving customer issues in a public forum can benefit both the consumer and the business.

“You should get pretty prompt attention to resolve your matter — they want to show your friends and family that it was resolved,” she said.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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