Seems like the world just can’t get enough of Twitter. You know that’s the case when a baby bell like Qwest gets on board with it. They’ve launched Talk to Qwest, a Twitter powered customer service monitoring service. Other service providers have similar initiatives with Twitter, including Comcast. Customers can post Qwest customer service issues to Twitter, and Qwest customer service agents (or followers in this case) will monitor Qwest ‘tweets’ and respond accordingly. At least that’s the plan. “The goal of Talk to Qwest is simple – provide quick and courteous resolution for Qwest customers,” says Qwest in a company statement.
We generally applaud moves like these. Companies like Qwest tend to get dragged into new initiatives like this ‘kicking and screaming.’ It’s not exactly conventional customer service thinking – at least not to traditional wireline telephone companies. While the move to social media is well documented, one danger we see is the ‘bandwagon’ approach – meaning adopting such practices because everyone else is. That could become a real risk. Service providers that adopt social media practices need to do so after careful review and after gaining a genuine appreciation for its power, not just because they think it’s the ‘in’ thing to do. Otherwise, they risk alienating the very customer base they hope to engage, who will quickly see through any ‘veiled’ attempt to ‘friend’ them. We’re not passing judgment on Qwest – Talk to Qwest will be worth observing.