Business social networking

Twitter customer service models – @metoffice is great

Over the last two weekends I have had two experiences with customer support using Twitter which I shall relate to you.

The bank holiday weekend was it’s usually showery with sunny spells and I was lying in my tent in Woodhall Spa watching the Twitter stream, albeit in stops and starts due to the terrible  mobile data connectivity you get in parts of the countryside.

I follow the @metoffice  twitter account and noticed the handover from the night shift. Every time this happens the new “duty tweeter” asks people to tweet in questions about the weather. For me this has always been a one way twitter account but on this occasion I asked whether the rain forecast for the Monday would stay away long enough for me to dry the tens and pack it away.

This is the engagement:

(me 08.09am) @metoffice I’m in woodhall spa.will the tent have time to dry out before it rains again?

(response 08.38am) @tref Yes just about, although soon becoming cloudy… you can expect rain later this afternoon, about 2pm ish ^JVS

Last night. ie Sunday evening, I was trying to book a train ticket and the website kept grinding to a halt whenever I got to the point of paying.

(me 20.41pm) @eastcoastuk your payment gateway is so slow it’s going backwards tonight. I’m trying to buy a load of advance tix

(response 10.44 next day) @tref Apologies, if you are experiencing problems using your rewards, contact Web Support 08457225111

Now I happen to like I frequent London quite regularly (frequently) and the train firm, by and large, provides me with a good service.

It is interesting however to note the difference in twitter response. The @metoffice response left me thinking “wow what a great service” and that of @eastcoastuk didn’t.  Moreover I was trying to spend money with and the MetOffice provides me with everything free of charge. Also @metoffice is manned by people who tell you their names. Clearly @eastcoastuk is not a 24*7 twitter account. I’m not saying they need to change , they run their own business the way they want to run it. I’m just highlighting the difference.

I have the MetOffice app running on my GalaxyS3. I’d get it if I were you, especially if you like camping.

PS the Met Office is looking for advertisers – their app has a small banner space that always seems to read “Advertise Here”. Worth taking a look if you are selling to people who rely on the weather for work or play.