Welcome to the new age of Customer Service. Or as most of us would say “welcome to the new age of NO customer service”……and I would normally agree until last week, when I was surprisingly impressed!
A little background info: Monday, September 29, 2014 I ordered phone & internet from AT&T Uverse for my new office space. I went online had it ordered in a few minutes. There were install date options varying from 18 hours out to the end of the week on Friday, October 3, 2014. I chose Friday at 11am. After ordering the service I decided that I should upgrade the phone service to unlimited. I picked up the phone and called them, spoke to someone, they upgraded the telephone service and then…somehow changed the install date to a week from Friday. I called back and was told they couldn’t change it.
It’s been a week of work insanity: a new project with Moodle at the University of Chicago is kicking off….a new series of interactive webinars, in Adobe Connect, kicked off for (PG&E) Energy Code Ace….a third call with a client about handling Moodle support for another University….the second week of Moodle admin for a compliance training school….finishing a presentation for next week for the CABEC conference on “Navigating the New Standards” on the new Title 24 energy codes and to top it off….moving to new offices.
So I called AT&T back on Wednesday, talked to customer service, and gave them the 4 order numbers that I had been emailed over the last 36 hours. They figured out what order # was correct and then told me they could not change the install date back. They transferred me to escalate the call and after being on hold for over 10 minutes, I was disconnected! I called another support number and it said “Welcome to AT&T support. This line is no longer valid. Goodbye”. So I called the original number again, and was transferred to somewhere…then was disconnected again. I called back, tried another option to get a REAL PERSON and was disconnected yet again! So I called the customer service number on the website, and got an agent that could NOT grasp that I originally had an October 3rd install date. She kept saying “You have an install date of October 10th”. I replied, “but I had October 3rd, and she said, ¨but that is not available now — who’s on third base — over and over and over. And then, at the end, she asked “did I help you with all your needs?” I was shocked…I replied, ¨You were not helpful whatsoever” and hung up in frustration.
So if you haven’t noticed yet, I love stats! 🙂 All of these frustrating calls and disconnects went on for 45 minutes…..which in frustration minutes felt like an eternity! I was at wits end! 15 years ago, I would have called in, asked for a supervisor and wrote a letter to someone up the food chain. I don’t think that works anymore. Does anyone read those letters? Does anyone respond? I have never gotten a response from any of my letters in the last several years.
This is where knowing how to use Twitter is something worthwhile to learn. If you would like an excellent ¨How to¨, check out Kent Brooks great Twitter How to. It was written for ¨How to Tweet at a Conference¨, but it is truly a great intro for anyone not familiar with Twitter.
So back to my story…or bitchfest… you choose. I went onto twitter and sent:
“Ordered internet & phone for new space, install was 10/3, AT&T touched it & now is 10/10! 5 calls,3 disconnects, no help @Uverse @att“
Within 11 minutes I received a response from @attcustomercare. A couple DMs back and forth, providing them with my account info, and my phone rings exactly 30 minutes from my first post and it’s AT&T calling me directly, and within that 4 min and 44 second call, my install date was back to October 3rd and scheduled at 9am. They fixed the problem!
One simple tweet — I told the world on Twitter that AT&T has horrible customer service, creatively — in less than 140 characters. My issues was resolved in under 5 minutes. THIS IS the new power of Customer Leverage in the the era of social media. Tell not just the supervisor in a company that their Customer Service sucks; tell the world! And as I suggested (in Twitter 101) I sent praise letting the world know that AT&T stepped up to the plate!
So save time, bypass that horrible customer service line and spend a few minutes learning twitter and send out your first tweet!