The Power of Twitter

Forget 1-800 numbers.  If you want real customer service, take it to Twitter.  That’s what I did after UPS lost my Next Day Air package and I got results fast.  Here’s the story…

Every year our church hosts a huge party called Not-So-Scary Halloween.  All our small groups compete for best costume and  I ordered ours from KNG (a restaurant supply company).  I received part of the order on Thursday but noticed the rest was backordered!  I quickly called KNG and they overnighted me another order (they have an incredible customer service department by the way).  It would be here Friday at 3:00 PM.

Friday at 3:00 PM came and went.  No costumes.  I called KNG back and they immediately got on the phone with UPS.  The package was lost somewhere between Boise and Nashville.  They requested Saturday delivery for me, if the package was found, but said it didn’t look good.  I hung up and called UPS directly.  They were even less promising.

Saturday morning I woke up and checked the tracking website.  It said my package had arrived in Nashville at 6:52 AM.  However, it also said it wouldn’t be delivered until Monday.  I called the UPS 1-800 number and got nowhere.  “The truck has already left.” “The containers are locked.” “Monday is the scheduled time.”  In short, forget it buddy.

I explained the whole situation.  How the package was of no use to me on Monday.  How Columbia was only 60 miles from Nashville.  How I was willing to drive up to the terminal and pick it up myself.  Still, nothing.  So I asked where I could lodge a complaint with the company.  They told me to send them an email.  I did one better.  I sent out this tweet…

Within minutes I got this reply…

I did what they asked and within 5 minutes the tracking status changed to “exception requested.”  I had the package in my hands in 4 hours.  Incredible!  I feel like I could have called the 800 number all day and got nowhere, but one little tweet and the package was here.

Social media has changed the customer service game.  Before, I would have sent an email and my complaint would have been seen by one person in a cubicle somewhere.  But now, I send a tweet and it’s seen both by my 400 followers and the 21,000 followers of UPS.  That’s why they responded as quick as they did.

UPS understands that the game has changed.  Customer complaints have the power to create a negative online presence for their company.  That’s why they are actively managing social media, looking for negative comments and responding immediately.  They changed my attitude quickly and, of course, I made sure to tweet about it.

What about your company/organization?  How are you engaging your customers on social media?  Are you responding to negative comments online? 

2 thoughts on “The Power of Twitter

  1. Awesome you got your package through the power of Twitter! Just a technical correction, only your followers that also follow @UPS saw your tweet. Sometime ago, Twitter changed the way mentions worked to cut down on some of the “noise” some users complained about. Now when your tweet starts with @username, only @username and your mutual followers will see the tweet.

    There are two very easy workarounds if you want to use mentions and ensure all your followers see the tweet.

    1. Use a period to start the tweet. Example: .@UPS blah blah blah #hashtag
    2. Put the mention near the end of the tweet. Eample: Blah blah blah @UPS. #hashtag

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