Publicized Customer Service
COMPANIES ARE ACCUSTOMED to one-on-one customer service. Call centers, e-mails, and help desks are all based on the idea that you need one employee interaction for every customer reaction. What social media allows is for businesses to have these interactions in public. This kind of public customer service can be both good and bad for your brand. Good, because it allows people to see that you are listening and engaging and care about customer service. Other customers who share these concerns or questions may potentially solve their own issue without having to ask you individually after seeing the interaction online. The bad can happen if the business account is run by someone not skilled at customer service or when complaints are ignored.
A great example of the benefit of public customer service comes from Tufts University in Massachusetts. They have three cafeterias all with Twitter accounts. Their primary function is tweeting out their daily menu for students to see, and more importantly listening to what students are saying about them—as the following tweets show:
As you can see, she is using Twitter like a lot of people do, to vent. This is usually where many companies do nothing and either the tweet dies (yet always lives on Google) or she gets even angrier. Smart organizations pick up on this and realize they have a chance to not only solve an ...

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