A Better Way to Handle Publicly Tweeted Complaints

Brand managers and customer care leaders beware. Complaining about complaining has become “the new abnormal.”

Consider the most obvious, and pernicious, perverse incentive: publicly tweeted complaints get faster/better reaction than calls or emails to the corporate customer contact centers. Social media circumstances invite organizations to prioritize indiscreet tweets over less transparent call center interactions. The squeaky tweeter gets the grace. Customers aren’t stupid. Why plow through irritating IVR menus on your mobile, hold for seven minutes, have a frustrating conversation with a representative not empowered to resolve your issue, hold another four minutes for a supervisor and then vent all over again? If a well-chosen 140 characters provoke comparable results — and the personal satisfaction of public shaming — then that’s what will increasingly occur. How smart are customer-centric firms that effectively train complainers to disregard or disintermediate their contact centers?

A Better Way to Handle Publicly Tweeted Complaints, Harvard Business Review

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