Social media as an advantage or threat to customer service?

With the new era and fast expansion of social media channels, companies are enabling customers to engage and create more interest with past, present, and potential customers. Social media has opened a new channel of communication for exchanging information about products and services. On the other hand, companies can focus on individual customer needs by answering each request individually and creating loyalty and personalized service. In response, brands are striving to monitor and quickly respond to those complaints to prevent them from festering and damaging their reputation. Many consumer brands equip their social media teams with significant organizational customer relationship management (CRM) experience, as well as access to the associated CRM system, so that complaints can be effectively and efficiently managed online.





United Airlines learned this the hard way when the now-famous protest song “United Breaks Guitars” went viral on YouTube in 2009. Although most customers probably would not bother writing a song to share their experience, increasingly people are simply tweeting publicly to corporate Twitter accounts to complain. According to a New York Times article, such a public approach may work out better for consumers than spending time on the phone. In response, companies are scrambling to monitor and respond to consumer complaints on Twitter, effectively providing customer service on social media.

Do you prefer calling a company for an issue or contacting them through social media? I



definitely prefer contacting companies over social media vs long phone calls to companies. To be honest, who has time for that specially when you are bounced from one department to another and have to confirm your identity. It becomes frustrating.


Recently, I switched my home Internet from Rogers to Bell, predominately because I live in suburb area so wanted something with better speed. In my experience when you are a new customer, every sales person would show you the moon and stars and gives you better pricing till you get the first bill. It was the same case, when I got my first bill, the agent signed me for bunch of added services which I did not agree and when I called to cancel, they were going to charge me more price. I went from one agent to speaking with several and spending lot of time and getting frustrated. Then I decided to give up from calling and just went on to their Twitter account. You would be amazed to know that I got the reply in 15 minutes and my issue was resolved within couple of hours. I thought it was very convenient. Do you have a similar experience? Have you complained and got a speedy response?

My only big fear is that do people go and post on social media accounts to appreciate about great service received or is it predominately a tool available to complain? Some questions always ponder in head i.e. Have you ever written a positive feedback on company’s social media account? How important are reviews from other customers to you? How would you react if you see company’s responding to each post vs ignoring all negative comments? Food for thought….. i.e. whether by empowering customers to communicate via social media is a threat or an advantage to companies?

Facebook: Social media: Is it detrimental to empowering customer? Read more:

Twitter: Are companies empowering #customers to #complain?


 Work cited:

Whose and What Social Media Complaints Have Happier Resolutions? Evidence from Twitter PRIYANGA GUNARATHNE, HUAXIA RUI, AND ABRAHAM SEIDMANN


One thought on “

  1. Hi Anuj, you raise a very valid point. In my experience, I have seen most comments on companies social media to be negative, normally from angered customers. I can relate to you since I just recently cancelled my Rogers account also. I had reached out to Rogers on many instances on social media but have never really gotten anything worthwhile in return. Every answer was the same “please pm so we can resolve this issue” and then you get nowhere. I can honestly say that I have rarely given a positive comment on a companies social media, which is pretty sad. Thank you for the eye opener 🙂

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