Upon arriving back home from a week-long vacation, I was unpleasantly surprised to return to a house with no cable, internet or phone service. This came at especially bad timing as my wife had recently lost her mobile phone. After calling our provider (Comcast) and getting a generic message about an outage, (post navigating through the confusing phone menu) I opted to wait it out for the afternoon as the recording recommended.
By evening we had no service and after waiting on the line again I had finally gotten through only to get the expected "we'll send a technician between the hours of..." message. The Comcastic puppets couldn't put a smile on my face at this point (actually, they've always creeped me out), but Frank—a Comcast employee who provides customer service on Twitter did.
Within a few minutes on a Sunday evening, Frank responded to my complaint letting me know that it was most likely not an outage in my area, but a problem at my house. He also guided me through a process that would have fixed it (if I had a amplifier vs. a splitter), but it was still nice to get the education on the difference, not to mention the personal touch delivered through what is supposed to be an impersonal medium.
I've spoken about at length, the real opportunity for organizations looking to figure out how to tap the power of the social movement lies on the experience side more so than the marketing. Whether it's consumer or enterprise, companies can gleam insights from customers and actually extend the customer experience as I've outlined in my story, Critics may say it's a waste of time—especially when tapping relatively small networks such as Twitter, but I believe this is a strategy built of fragmentation and niche value vs. mass appeal. Digital channels have evolved in to infinite touch points meaning that technology has permeated our lifestyles in a very organic fashion. Networks offer us a glimpse of what the potential is for companies to provide better experiences in an automated age.
If I have a problem with my Comcast service—I'll probably ping Frank again. You might make a phone call, but a good experience at the root is built on empathy and understanding how people want to interact with you. Franks knows that while I don't use my phone as much as I used to—I still crave human contact and a helping hand. Nice to know I can get it in a way that aligns with my lifestyle.