September 25, 2017

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ABC Sets Up New Twitter Users to be Disappointed

ABC Sets Up New Twitter Users to be Disappointed

Last night, Twitter was featured on ABC World News with Charles Gibson. The piece talked about Comcast performing acts of customer service magic by watching the Web for signs of disgruntled customers and then acting as digital detectives to help solve those problems. The report went on to say how companies like Dell, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Kodak were all on Twitter “aggressively protecting their brand, often giving those who complain amazing service.”

Watching search.twitter.com (formerly Summize) in the minutes that followed the ABC report showed a flood of new Twitter users signing up with expectations of their customer service woes being heard. Here are some examples of first tweets, all of which used the tell-tale generic avatar of a newbie:

acromack: just watched the abc news report on twitter and how companies are paying attention. wow, actually listening to the customer for once?!?

pmitch: I just watched ABC news and learned about Twitter. I have a gripe I would like to air.

zugzwang926: Just saw ABC‘s segment on Twitter, case study-Comcast. No surprise there! Switching to ATT ASAP. Comcast is arrogant and uncaring.

uandygun: twitter was just on the abc news. They say got a problem tell twitter. All big companys looking in.

jhall01: just found out about this site on ABC News. Thought I would sign up, could be interesting..

mcnana7: listening to ABC; found your site; will use next time I can’t get to a human.

susanekell: Twitter was just on the evening news – ABC! A Comcast customer got fast service because of her twitter post! Wow!!

janizia: I am watching the news on ABC news, and just want to tell you this is a fantastic idea, and I know most of us will use this service, Thank u

With expectations like those, it’s hard not to be disappointed. And if all of those concerns are not addressed, as Tracey Lee Wallace‘s were in the report, then in the eyes of those customers, the brands mentioned have failed them again.

I feel sorry for Comcast. Their ten “digital detectives” are going to be very busy keeping up with the new complaints channel. But, thankfully there is a (mostly) reliable search engine, because you can be almost certain these new Twitter users won’t know that they’ll be seen faster by using @comcastcares.

UPDATE: A manual search in search.twitter.com conducted 6 hours after the piece aired in the East, revealed more than 100 Tweets attributed to new users as a direct result of the ABC report. This does not account for new users who have signed up and not yet posted or have made their updates private (which, in itself presents a customer service issue for companies on Twitter who won’t see those tweets). In the search, I discovered a tweet from none other than Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter welcoming the new users. And to their credit, despite the reservations of users, Twitter did not go down as a result of the coverage.

This post originally appeared at the author’s blog, Marketing Monster.

Adele McAlear is a partner in 99directions, a social media marketing company and blogger at Marketing Monster. adele@99directions.com

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