Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kristin Chenoweth's Tweet and the dark future of customer service

Posted By on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge Twitter isn't lasting and that's the problem.
  • Twitter isn't lasting and that's the problem.

My dad has been in sales his entire life. And one of his sales axioms, which I've expanded into other parts of my life, involves cold french fries.

He always wants to hear a customer's complaint and likewise is willing to let a proprietor know when something is not right. Because as he says, "if you don't tell me the french fries are cold, I don't know that they are cold and I can't fix it."

So when Kristin Chenoweth relayed her story of Tweeting about a grumpy Starbucks barista on Tuesday's Late Show With David Letterman, it got me thinking about how we complain in today's digital age.

Chenoweth fired off a Tweet about her surly service and talked about getting a response from a woman in Missouri, and being worried that the barista would be fired.

All restaurants deserve a chance to fix mistakes. But I'm not sure how the mistake can be fixed once you've left the restaurant. It feels a bit cowardly to complain about the service after the fact via your computer or hand-held.

Also, by the nature of its 140 character limit and stream-of-consciousness nature, Twitter is arguably the worst place to air customer service grievances. There is little nuance or context and no way to fully explain what happened. Tweets are just instant messages run amock -- only in this case you're sharing your visceral reaction with the world.

So to you Tweeps out there who feel you're not getting the service you want or something is wrong with your meal, here's my advice:

TLK 2 A RL PERSON, ULL GET BETTER RESULTS.

[Image via Flickr: Rosaura Ochoa]

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