Technology enables a lot of things. Unfortunately one of those things is automated customer service systems that make it a pain to actually talk to a human. Luckily, social media has given individuals a voice, which has forced companies to quickly react or face the anger of the internet mob. Hit the jump to learn how to use social media to make large corporations listen.
The Example Situation:
Let's say for example your cable operator says they are coming out for an appointment and then they end up not showing. Usually they just say sorry on the phone and reschedule. The don't offer any compensation for your time because its not a public matter. And if they don't show again, no sweat off their back. Worst case one angry customer. Now you could spend hours complaining on the phone, or you could take to the world wide web of social media.
Twitter: Unlike Facebook, Twitter is inherently public. This means everything you say is by defauly searchable by the entire world. In the situation above, a simple tweet (especially if you have a decent number of followers) will go along way. The cable company knows that not only will all of your followers see it, but if it gets retweeted then potentially hundreds - if not thousands - of more eyeballs will see your tweet. No minimize the negative impact, its in their best interest to not only respond quickly, but with some nice incentives.
Blog: While not quite as easy as Twitter to get the word out, blogging about your issues can have a similar effect. Blogs are great because they give you an outlet to tell a story rather then just a 140 character though. Also blogs give your readers, and even the company, a chance to respond if you have comments enabled. The biggest downside to blogs is that unless you have a larger readership it will be much more difficult to get noticed.
Facebook Pages: Simply setting your own Facebook status is not enough. Since your status will stay within your network it won't get the exposure necessary for a company to respond. However, post your comment on their Facebook Page and you will be very likely to get a response.
The one big thing to remember when doing this is that it is not meant to be a way to trash a brand. Being negative and unjust will not accomplish your goal of getting competent customer service. So remember, don't trash companies just to trash them. Use social media to be heard and to help make your relationship with a brand better.