Monday, March 23, 2009

Twitter scores another customer service home run

This is to show that companies can profit with social networking on the Internet. It also shows how fast things can happen there, too.

Yesterday I saw a tweet from one of my followers on Twitter, @JoanneSardini

Joanne said, "The power of Twitter strikes again! Why can't life problems all be solved this easily - Thanks guys!!"

Well, this sure interested me since I am always looking for proof that social networking works.

Here is the first tweet about the problem:
"Just had a horrible experience with - they need to meet @zappos for some customer service advice! I got told off on the phone"

The second tweet about the problem:
"All I did was had a different billing address from my shipping address - not so unusual, right? "Not for - not cool!!!"

I sent a message to Joanne asking if she would sent a description of the incident to post here. Joanne agreed and sent me this email message today.


My online shoe buying experience took a knock over the past 2 days but certainly redeemed themselves.

I ordered two pairs of shoes and used a credit card with a different name and billing address than the shipping info.

Not a big deal, thought.

ShoeBuy emailed me and asked me to call their processing dept. I did. They wanted to speak to the cardholder.

This is where it gets a bit sticky.

The cardholder is my Mom who happens to live in Scotland. I told them they couldn’t talk to her on this number.

Before I even had a chance to give her email or phone number I was told my order was being canceled – for my mother’s security.

OK, I get the point and appreciate that they were protecting her credit card but this is when it gets bad. I suggested that if they are concerned with cardholder security, they should ask for cardholder contact info at order time.

The woman on the phone rudely interrupted me. To make a long story short, I hung up the phone with a bad feeling (and no shoes!).

In an angry mood, I went to Twitter and made three tweets about my experience (you can pull them from my page) suggesting that could learn from Zappos great customer service.

Just 20 minutes later I answered my phone at home. A manager from ShoeBuy was on the phone. He apologized for my problem and immediately processed my order and graciously gave me 15% discount.

I told the manager that I would go back to Twitter and tell people about the excellent service I received from ShoeBuy. I was very happy with their speedy remedy. When he heard this he was very happy that I was satisfied.

ShoeBuy obviously closely monitors its online presence. The man I spoke to couldn’t have been more apologetic or nicer about the situation.

Great example of using Twitter to monitor and turn a negative into a positive!

Joanne Sardini
Director of Sales and Owner Services
Edgartown Residence Club
Colonial Inn of Martha's Vineyard
Phone: 800-465-2810

< /snip >

In a span of one short hour Joanne told her followers on Twitter about her problem and ShoeBuy turned that complaint into a very happy customer. In addition, many people now have a warm and fuzzy feeling about ShoeBuy. They are likely to pick up some additional sales, possibly some immediate sales. Joanne has almost 2,000 followers.

Today I will post this blog. Another group of people will hear the good news about ShoeBuy.

The ROI of monitoring Twitter for ShoeBuy, at least, is apparent if not measurable. My faith in social networking got a big boost as well.

Photo by Jerry Wong

Greg Cryns
20000 Credit Card Debt
Wahm Search Engine


  1. Until today I 'got' why companies should be monitoring their online presence but this was really the 1st time I had a direct experience of it. They really did turn me around - a really great lesson to anyone in customer service - Thanks Greg!

  2. My pleasure, Joanne. Frankly I was getting a bit skeptical but I knew deep down that social awareness can work in spades.

    We've got to stop thinking of quick returns, ROI and yesterday's measurements. Glad you gave permission to post this story.