Sunday, November 22, 2009

Comcast and Twitter: How Much is it Really About Customers?

Raise your hand if you haven't heard about how Comcast is doing a great job using Twitter for customer service. Chances are, there probably aren't a lot of hands up because Comcast has gotten lots of great press because of Comcastcares.

The problem is that, while I'm sure Frank Eliason truly does care about customer satisfaction, the rest of Comcast's customer service team apparently doesn't share those same values. Or, at least, customer service still seems to suck as badly as ever in spite of Comcast's Twitter efforts.

Here's the thing: Comcast gets great marks for their use of Twitter for customer service--but is that what social media is supposed to be about? Getting positive buzz for your company or actually providing better service to customers?

The problem remains that social media tools don't have the power to magically transform legions of apathetic employees and clock-punchers into avid brand enthusiasts devoted to doing the best job possible, 24/7, because it's personally meaningful to them. People seem to overlook the reality that while there's plenty of glitz and glamour for social media "rockstars," customer service is still a crappy job with no perks like speaking engagements, lucrative consulting opportunities or mass adoration. In other words, guys like Frank Eliason have plenty of reasons to strive to give great service; what incentive is there for the faceless thousands of customer service reps who aren't being highlighted in Business Week or the Wall Street Journal?

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