UPDATED: 12/14/2012 See below
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At the least, national consumer brands must monitor Twitter to learn what people are saying about their products and services. At the most, they should be participating in these conversations, being transparent when mistakes and errors are discovered and addressing them quickly and easily.
Twitter accounts like ComcastCares are there specifically to react to those times when, for whatever reason, a prospect or customer feels Comcast blew it and is now telling their friends and anyone else who will listen about it on Twitter. They respond to complaints with requests for account numbers or phone numbers and let the customer know that their issue will be looked into and someone will contact them soon. It’s not uncommon to see followup messages like, “are you still having trouble?”
So I was surprised when looking at the tweets published by the staff working Dominos’ Twitter account.
They push timely coupons and product announcements to their customer audience. That’s not surprising and is a really good idea. They also recognize people when they comment about how good their products are services are with replies like, “Thanks for the props, greatly appreciated!” and “Glad you enjoyed!!” Again, a really good idea and these first person responses let the customer know they’re having a conversation with Dominos.
But when dealing with a complaint, the messaging suddenly has the context of “that’s not us, you need to talk to someone else.”
While wonderfully apologetic, the message tells the customer they need to go tell someone else. No one likes that. This same messaging is repeated over and over again in response to complaints.
The link takes the customer to a form to fill out that enables Dominos to better address the problem. The customer doesn’t care that a customer care team within Dominos is going to handle their problem and they are not the same people at the Twitter account console (why not? it should be). The customer wants to know they are going to be taken care of and everyone they encounter is totally engaged in that process.
So a simple change of phrasing would make all the difference.
Hey Dominos! Are you listening? I think there’s a problem.
** UPDATE: 12/14/2011 **
I just noticed an interesting uptick in traffic to this post. It made me wonder whether there’d been a change in Domino’s customer service modus operandi on the Twitter channel. Lo and behold, there has been. Instead of sending people with complaints down the hall like they were, they are now greeted directly with something like the following:
I think you’ll agree this is a marked improvement. Domino’s Twitter staff are likely collecting the customer’s information and forwarding it to the customer service team but the customer is left feeling they got immediate satisfaction from the one person they initially reached out to.