Dealing with the any of the big telcos, banks or energy companies is usually a total nightmare. You'll be bounced from person to person over the phone before being "disconnected" and left to start the grind all over again. You have all done it before. So what do you do to solve your dramas when you're at the end of your tether? Find the answers online, you will.
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It's a fair bet that every major Australian brand has a presence on Twitter, Facebook and maybe even Google+ and LinkedIn. Where their customers are, that's where these companies want to be. Control over the corporate message online is important, but what's more important is how brands can use these social media feeds for customer service and satisfaction.
No longer can you, the customer, scream at a brand online in an empty, digital room. Now you're shouting and the brand is listening, and responding to your gripes in real time. But what if you have been reduced to shouting by bad customer service elsewhere in the organisation? Turn to social media, you must.
If you have been bounced around day-after-day and time-after-time, it's worth sending out a tweet, making a post on a brand's Facebook page or just ranting and raving about them in general on social media. The tools these brands use will be able to find your dissent even if you're not tagging in the brand.
Once you get a reply from a brand's social media account, you'll likely either be directed to a more private live chat service to talk out the issue with a real person, or asked to fill in a web form with your information so that the social media team can get your problem solved.
These folks are trained to solve complex issues, and they don't spend all day getting screamed at by in-bound calls, they just get stuff handed to them to sort out from sites like Twitter and Facebook. You're more likely to get a good customer service experience from someone who doesn't spend all day having their spirit systematically broken by angry customers.
So the next time you're staring down at your bill, customer service number in hand ready to dial, keep calm and social media on.