By Ed Oswald | Monday, June 21, 2010 at 11:00 am
AT&T is following Comcast’s lead in turning to social networking in order to repair its tarnished brand and reach out to its customers. The company is making a full court press to counter some of the negative publicity that it has received across Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube by building a support staff devoted to answering customer concerns on popular social networking sites.
That group now numbers 19, and almost half of those reached through social networking respond to the team. AT&T is also planning to actively promote the company’s participation in social networking on its bills and websites in an effort to get even more customers to use the service.
Airing customer concerns in public may seem like counter-productive to repairing the bruised image of a company, but it’s not. In the standard phone-based customer service, nobody really sees the work the company does to fix the issue except the caller and the representative. Here in the open, everyone sees it.
While the only fixes for AT&T’s problems really lie in infrastructure improvements, any effort to quell the angst of its customers will go a long way to improving its image. The media has certainly pummeled the company (and rightly so) for its missteps in recent years, especially with the iPhone. Appearing as if it cares may buy it a little more time with consumers to get things right.
[Hat tip: AdAge]