Many businesses are failing at social media customer service states Frank Eliason; who is serving as SVP of Social Media at Citibank. That maybe so, but Eastlink’s social media team impressed me this weekend.

Frank makes some really good points on how companies are dropping the ball when it comes to social media and customer service. You can read more here. Many have the wrong focus and are not putting the whole picture together. But when a company does it right, now that’s worth looking into. I want to share with you what happened to me this weekend and why I thought it was great customer service.

social media customer service


Here was the problem. Early Saturday morning I lost my Internet and my cable. Don’t worry, I am a good customer and my account is currently paid up. I did some checking to see if a splitter was bad. Everything checked out and I called Eastlink. The customer service rep at Eastlink was polite and they set me up for a service appointment for Monday. At this point no one was sure what the problem was. A tech was definitely needed to determine what the problem was and fix it. I do have a squirrel around the house.

So all my social media efforts for the weekend were going to have to take place only on my smartphone. A good friend of mine @RobCairns had just gone through 36 service visits (since May 2012)  with his cable company (Rogers) to get his Internet working. I was teasing him; and now it was my turn to suffer some cable/Internet problems. So I sent a tweet out to Rob expecting him to poke fun at me this time:

Then right out of the blue, Eastlink contacted me on Twitter. They sent me a Direct Message and began to investigate the problem. Within minutes, an Eastlink rep was on my phone telling me that a tech was coming within 1/2 hour to take a look. The social media team at Eastlink had figured out the problem and sent a tech to investigate. Once the tech got to the house, we found the problem very quickly. He was in and gone within 10 minutes. Now that’s service.

My wife was now a Twitter believer. Eastlink had wowed my wife; and that’s not an easy thing to do. The Eastlink social media team made the difference in this customer service experience.

I could have lived without my cable and Internet for a weekend. There are somethings that need a tech. I was not an emergency. I still had my phone line working with Eastlink. Some times you have to wait to get things done. My days of rushing are over and I am OK with that.

What really impressed me with the social media team at Eastlink was how they communicated and responded to me on social media. They were professionals and worked with me as I asked them questions. They were able to put the pieces to the puzzle together and get a tech to me quickly. Don’t you think that this was a great effort on their part?

Now I know that other businesses are still struggling to figure out how they can make social media work for them. Social media does require thought and a strategy to use it well; especially for customer service. But it can be done and customers can be wowed. Eastlink wowed me this weekend with their social media efforts. That’s a sign of great customer service. Thank you for listening and helping Eastlink.

Important note: To those who are reading this post, I did not go crazy on social media to get what I wanted. I don’t believe in causing businesses pain just because I need something now, and can’t wait. This is the wrong use of social media. I believe in starting a conversation, not a blackmail campaign, to get what I want. After all, my grandfather was right when he said… “You catch more flies with honey that you do with vinegar“. Be nice. It will help you achieve a better end result.