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“We’re Through!” Breaking Up with a Brand over Twitter Customer Service

Fast. Witty. Prudent. Brands playing in today’s customer-centric ecosystem need to be on their toes more than ever. Traditional customer service models don’t work anymore, so brands need to be sure they have all their bases covered, all the time. The stakes are high—and customers are vocal.

Recently, I decided to test a theory about customer service in order to sweeten my mobile carrier package.

First, some background on the situation. Carrier A vs. Carrier B: Two telecom brands that have recently been competing for consumer attention and wallets using big and small balls to demonstrate their prowess—literally (you’ve seen the Super Bowl commercials, right?).

Carrier A—I’ve been a customer for 10+ years without any significant issues or service interruptions. But my phone screen just shattered. And the insurance deductible is an unwieldy bitch. The competition—another major carrier with an unbeatable monthly offering, a shiny new phone, a really strong incentive to switch, and customer service that was on-point.

Disclaimer: I had no intention of switching carriers. I honestly believed my homeboy Carrier A would come through for me. I was sorely mistaken.

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Customers are clever, vocal, and demanding. A brand in today’s world must come to play in the social media playground—or risk losing the most loyal.

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The takeaway: Walk the talk. When it comes down to it, I don’t care how many awards you’ve won or if your service is better at the top of Labrador Mountain (I’m not usually trying to make a call while I’m about to shred a black diamond). I care about what you are going to do to keep me and my 10+ years of loyalty to your brand. Coverage areas are table stakes—what fringe benefits can you offer to keep my name on your roster?

At this point, my relationship with Carrier A had turned one-sided—I give and I give and I give. I sign your contracts, I pay on time every month, I brag to my friends about you. But what have you done for me lately? In one night, Carrier A lost my trust and Carrier B gained my affection—all through Twitter. Carrier B came through on their promise to deliver and you can bet my voice will be heard… online, in person, and out loud.