Remember this cheesy commercial from the 80's for Faberge shampoo?
Can't see video? Visit this post on the Web.
Along with Faberge shampoo, the "Tell 2 Friends" adage has gone the way of the Dodo. In the Age of Twitter, it's more like "Tell 2000 Friends."
Consider this Tweet from Bazaarvoice CMO Sam Decker. Over 2000 of his followers potentially caught this tweet: "On hold too long with Zappos. I think my expectations are higher after hearing so much about their customer service."
Zappos customer service did catch that tweet, and followed up swiftly with a coupon:
"Impressed @Zappos_Service saw my tweeted issue and emailed me a coupon as an apology. How many companies do that??"
And now I'm sharing the story with over 8000 Get Elastic readers.
Using Twitter for Customer Service
Consider watching Twitter in real time for mention of your brand name. It's as simple as heading to http://search.twitter.com/ and typing in the terms you want to watch. You can even search like this:
"linda bustos" OR "get elastic" OR "getelastic" OR "elastic path" OR "roxyyo" OR "elasticpath"
Have your customer service reps keep a tab with the search and check every so often, or use a desktop client like Seesmic Desktop that will alert you for every instance of your tracked words.
This is also an example of how Twitter can be faster than email or phone communication - offering it as an option for Twitter users to contact your customer service reps directly rather than blasting a tweet to everyone can help avoid rants in the public forum.
Quick response is optimal, but any response is better than no response. How you handle positive/negative tweets is up to you, but the first step is to create that feedback loop so you can hear what people are saying about you.