I am continuing my series on how social media is changing technical support and customer care today. The series started with what was essentially a gripe about Comcast, so I found it funny when both Comcast support and a customer who had been helped by same contacted me to tell me how social media has changed the game.
"I have had continuing issues with my cable service," wrote Beth. "For the umpteenth time, we lost a bunch of channels on our HDTV and the picture tiled repeatedly. Naturally this happened before a show my husband wanted to watch at 10 pm. Customer service was closed, so we packed it in for the evening and went to sleep. I didn't get a chance to call customer service before I left for work the next morning, and I know from experience that you can't call Comcast customer service from anywhere but your home phone. I got so frustrated that I Twittered about my issue. And lo and behold! A wonderful guy from Comcast Twittered back. ComcastBill did a great job. My problem was solved before I got home. He followed up to let me know what to expect, and I got a follow up call the next morning from customer service to make sure my problem was solved."
Frank Eliason, director of digital care for Comcast, told me that Comcast has made a big effort to reach out to customers not only in the traditional ways -- phone and e-mail -- but also by being where consumers go to air their frustrations. "With social media," he says, "we can show that we are listening while helping people. When someone writes something on a blog or Twitter, they want someone to listen to that. They are looking for anyone to help. But, as a company, if we can be the one to help out, it works out very well for both of us. This is especially true in a place like Twitter where people are saying, 'Here is what I'm doing right now.' So the help we offer there is right out in the open, and it is immediate."