Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Real one-to-one marketing in the Twitter age

At a seminar some weeks ago I asked Don Peppers (CRM and one-to-one guru) who was using Twitter, in a business sense, really well and what they were doing with it. His answer involved a large US telco with a history of bad customer service. They were using Twitter to identify complaints early, and here's the important bit, acting on them immediately to turn this perception around.

I'm glad to say that Australian companies appear to be doing the same. My recent experience booking tickets for the Sydney Festival is a case in point.

Briefly, the chain of events is this. I am booking a multi-pack on the dedicated phone line. You can only book on this phone line (not an auspicious start as I prefer to do these things online). Anyway, as usual, the lines open at 9am and are jam packed. If you are a keen Festival goer you will know that the popular shows can book out in hours. So I persevere.

I'm at my desk and after a long time of trying to get in the queue, then actually being in the queue for about 20mins I idly Tweet that my patience is running low.

About 1min later, SYDFEST tweets back to encourage me to hang in there, the queues are being worked through. Duly encouraged, I hang in.

And wait.

For about another 20mins.

So about now I Tweet again. I fear I have been lost in the queue and entered an electronic limbo. I Tweet again, airing my suspicions. Sure enough, SYDFEST gets right back and promises to look into things for me.

The world being what it is, I finally get through just after that. Succes! Well, almost. One of the shows I really want to see is sold out. Grrrr. Now I am becoming that grumpy customer. And Ilet the world know.

This is when the people handling the bookings really kick in. They know I've been hanging on the line. They have now realised I was lost in the system...and they can read that I am one unhappy bunny.

God bless'em, though. They Tweet me asking to DM my email and phone number. About 5minutes later they call me to confirm I was a victim of a technical glitch, and just what show was it that I missed out on....?

Another 5mins and a second phone call - they have found me the four seats I wanted for my show, and will extend the Multipack deal to them too.

I'm now a recovered, happy customer. Yes, I'd rather not have gone through this but it all turned out well.

The key things here are:
- Twitter can help you spot things going awry as they happen
- they can identify an individual who can then be dealt with as an individual
- backed up with empowered customer service people, action can be taken straight away
- if, like me, the individual is on Twitter, facebook and has a blog and likes to tell a good story as well as a bad one, many people may well here the good customer service story as well as the less good ones.

So, keep your corporate eyes on the social media, and have people with the authority and initiative to act on what they find, straight away. Now that's what I call one-to-one marketing.

No comments:

Post a Comment