Telephone Or Social Media? What’s The Best Way To Communicate With Customer Service?
If you’re anything like me, you absolutely can’t stand talking on the telephone. I don’t like it at all, and when I have to do it I start thinking about what it is exactly I’m going to say when I finally reach the other person on the other end of the phone line. I love the fact that in today’s world, there are many ways we can avoid phone conversations, whether it be with a text, email, or the use of social media. Since that is my personality, I’ve become rather reliant on social media in dealing with customer service complaints. I decided to write this just to show some thoughts I’ve had about my interactions with different customer service on social media platforms.
Of all the companies I deal with, American Airlines is probably the one I speak to the most. I have to say, there are times it is terrific to just be able to shoot over a direct message to an employee at AA and get a response on something simple that completely lets me bypass getting on the phone and interacting with a customer service representative. Like I said above, if I can avoid the phone, I love that (I also have a terrible time hearing on the phone – I’m like an old man). It’s great to send a quick DM and get a response. Sometimes, I’ve even gotten a response on something when I’m having a problem quicker than my travel buddy gets a response by calling.
With that said, there’s just sometimes the Twitter team can’t do what you might need. Sometimes, you’re just stuck calling because the Twitter team doesn’t have the “authority” to do what it is you are asking. Sometimes I think they try that line even when they can do it, because I’ve had social media folks refuse to do something another social media team member has done for me in the past. Regardless, the ability to Tweet American is really great.
Part of the reason I wanted to write this post was because of a recent interaction I’ve had with the Twitter team at IHG. I try to stay at IHG often because I like their product, in general. That being said, their social media time does not seem able to take care of any problem that I’ve ever inquired about. Most recently, I was trying to ask about a room change and was told that I had a completely different room/rate than I actually had. Then I was told my rate was non-refundable (also false). I was forced to call to get to the bottom because the information being passed along to me was just false. Also, they then told me if I had a problem that I should call the hotel directly because that was the only person that could deal with what I was trying to resolve. They said not even their call center could handle it. That also proved false because when I called the call center they were able to assist. Calling the hotel directly wouldn’t be a problem, except when it’s a property in a foreign country, it would be quite costly to resolve an issue with an international number.
I had the same problem when I was dealing with a flight cancellation and had to change my reservation. The Twitter team said I couldn’t change the rate and would be charged because my rate was non-refundable (this was, again false). When I told them that was incorrect, their response was, once again, contact the hotel in China directly if I had an issue.
Bottom line with IHG, their social media team is not very useful with taking care of much of anything. Telephone is really the only option on this one.
Obviously with security there is only so much a bank can do, but I really have to say, having access to banks is nice for one reason: you can setup to have them call you, which allows you to avoid sitting on hold for a long while. This is really nice because sometimes while traveling or on the way to work, you don’t want to have to sit for ages on the phone. Instead you can tweet banks like Barclays, Citi, and Chase and have them set up a time to call. It’s super convenient and helps if you’re in the middle of something.
These are the companies I use the most to contact via Twitter. What are your favorite companies on social media? Would you rather just pickup the phone? Are there any companies that you find terrible in dealing with via Twitter?