Three Companies Using Twitter for Customer Service Outreach (And What You Can Learn From Them)

Have you ever encountered a problem with a product or service and complained about it on your Twitter account? How fast did the company respond, if at all?

Many companies have started to make the transition over to social media to further aid their customer service issues. Some have been quicker to adopt it than others, though, and with good reason – the below companies were often regarded as having the worst customer service imaginable. In fact, one was even voted the worst company in America!

1. Dell

Have you ever heard the term “Dell Hell?” Thousands of customers, unfortunately, are familiar with it after purchasing a computer from the company.  If there ever was an issue with their hardware, you had entered the gates of Dell Hell. Customer service reps never knew what was going on, supervisors would have conflicting stories, parts would go missing, the works. It was so bad a Dell Hell website was created to share horror stories.

Back in 2007, though, the company jumped on the Twitter train as soon as it roared by, and they haven’t looked back since. There are several lists of Dell employees on Twitter; in fact, a few months ago they had to restructure their Twitter feeds because there were just too many!

The main stream for America is DellCares, which is the account that will answer you if you complain on your own account. Of course, any issues then bounce to the other parts of customer service. They’re still working on it, but that Dell Hell site? Not a lot of traffic these days.

2. Comcast

Last year, awarded Comcast the Golden Poo award for the Worst Company in America. It was for good reason: many of us (myself included) can attest to the awfulness of their customer service, dropped channels and Internet service, incorrect billing, not to mention the controversy surrounding the net neutrality issue.

Before, all you had was the woefully misinformed lads and ladies on the telephone. Then, they added the Live Chat option, which leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve recently had some issues with the billing for my Internet, and instead of fixing my problem, the rep told me I should cut my digital cable down to basic to save money. Nice.

Knowing the power of Twitter, I complained on Twitter about my bad experience. Five minutes later, ComcastWill replied to me asking what he can do. He got in contact with my local office to try and fix things. In all fairness, I have to say that the issue still hasn’t been fixed entirely to my satisfaction, but the social media campaign impressed me with their quick response. Check out their main account, ComcastCares.

3. Bank of America

The bank industry has had it rough for a few years now, and Bank of America has faced some of the hardest. Unfortunately, most of the problems have been of their own making. Early last year, they accidentally seized the wrong house, thinking it was a foreclosure. Several months later, they did the same thing with a house in which a man had paid for entirely in cash.

Between this and problems with harassing usually loyal customers who miss a payment by a few days (not to mention issues with the bailout and fired CEOs), Bank of America’s reputation has been in the dumps. Luckily, a couple years ago they decided to enter the world of social media.

Now, among the horror stories, there are positive instances of Bank of America customers actually receiving help from the Twitter page. I’ve even seen some stories of customers getting refunds on overdraft fees that were entirely their own fault, just after speaking with the Twitter customer service reps. It’s a slow start, especially after major debacles such as the wrongly foreclosed houses, but a bank (or any business) actually listening to its customers and trying to learn what steps to take in the future is a step in the right direction.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here:

Apparently many companies are exploring on customer service through Twitter. And it is very encouraging that Comcast has initiated it. They had pretty bad customer service.


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