Three Ways to Use Twitter to Complain About Bad Customer Service

Complaining about a bad customer experience with a business used to be so easier. 1-800 customer service numbers were answered quickly, with a happy customer service representative on the other end ready to listen to your concerns. Now, both 800 numbers and live customer service reps are hard to find. Thankfully many companies, ranging from Forbes 500 to local small businesses, are opening up social media channels to not only promote their brand but listen to their customers.

Many of these businesses are using Twitter. This is a great place to turn, as a consumer with a problem, when no one else in the company will listen to you let alone resolve your issue. Here are three ways to use Twitter to complain about a bad experience:

1. Tweet at the company. The easiest way to tweet at a company is to “mention” them specifically. Google the company name along with the word “twitter” – one of the first search results should be their twitter account. Then, create a tweet that starts with “@(companyname)” and then briefly sum up your problem. Tip: be as specific, yet courteous as possible. The goal is to get a response.

2. Talk about the company in a tweet. Many companies – especially the bigger brands, like Comcast, run programs like CoTweet that search for any mention of their company name in tweets. While you may not actually talk “to” them, mentioning their name in a complaint that you tweet may grab their attention and elicit a response, either to via a tweet, or Direct Message (if you’re following them.)

3. Find the personal Twitter accounts of owners and executives of a company. A great app that can search the profiles of Twitter to find influential executives on Twitter is Twello – just search for the company with the word “exec” or “executive” – or any specific title you are looking for.  Then, repeat #1. Although the complaint-to-representaive ratio is still low in social media channels, some companies, like Starbucks, are still overwhelmed, and you will be better served by also and/or tweeting with a “real” person.

Don’t forget to use these same three steps to praise a company for great service. It’s easy to forget that there are real people behind the tweets who like the occasional kudos just as much as you do.

Ever used Twitter to complain about your experience with a business or brand? Did it work?