Comcast ups customer service ante through Twitter

Cable giant Comcast usually gets a bad rep for customer service (even I complained about it), but I have to say I am impressed with their latest efforts through an unlikely source: Twitter. Last night, while watching the incredible Celtics-Lakers game, I was trying to get some videos and podcasts uploaded to our site, but my Comcast internet connection was running terribly slow. A traceroute showed that the hop after my router was taking a whopping 1374ms to respond. Not good to say the least. So, I complained about it on my Twitter feed. A few minutes later, to my surprise, my Twhirl client pops up a message from @Comcastcares saying if I Direct Message my account phone number to them, they would look into the matter. Really? Because of a few Twitter-related issues, it took a bit for the Direct Message to happen and the slowness has subsided enough where my e-mail and uploading were decent. Still, the Comcast rep did a check of my modem as promised, reset it remotely (that explained the blip on my Outlook connection) and reported that the modem was okay and that issue was part of a wider network problem that had since been resolved, which I had verified through a much improved traceroute result. All of this was done within an hour and without me officially complaining to Comcast through phone call or direct e-mail. I heard of others that have complained about Comcast on Twitter only to find a Comcast rep suddenly "following" them. When I wrote about my past issue with customer service, I got calls at home from the Comcast corporate office. Never connected with them though since they were closed by the time I got home and remembered to try them back. For a company that seems to get bad grades for customer service, its Twitter system and embrace of Web 2.0 technology is a step in the right direction. Other companies should take notice. By using Twitter, Comcast (and others that follow the model) can assign their better troubleshooters to monitor the feed and proactively sniff out problems in the service. Instead of a the user calling and potentially getting a not-so-knowledgeable rep that gives them a run around (my issue the previous time), problems reported online through a public forum such as Twitter are getting directed straight to the most knowledgeable reps for quicker resolution. Customers don't have to spend time with the phone glued to their ears and tech support people can be helping multiple customers at one. Seems like a "win-win" to me.

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