Carphone Warehouse on Twitter: Service with a Virtual Smile

Last week, I had a very positive experience with the people at Carphone Warehouse. As part of my mobile phone contract with O2, I filed for and received a cheque back from them in early January. When I went to cash the cheque at my bank (NatWest, which by the way isn’t particularly the best), they refused to honour it, saying that my name was misspelled (I was referred to as ‘Mr.’ instead of ‘Ms.’). I knew that someone from Carphone Warehouse was on Twitter, so I contacted him with my problem, and very soon received a response, asking me to send an email to a certain address stating the facts. I did this, and the very next morning I received a call from a customer service representative, apologising for the problem and saying that they would send another, corrected cheque in 28 days. I ended the call feeling pleasantly surprised and very impressed with Carphone Warehouse. 

I think I went into the whole experiment with some doubt – my experience with many brands has not been good. Also, this was the first time that I was actively engaging with a brand online – and at some level I wanted to see if the industry that I work in would stand up for me, in a sense. I am glad to say it did. Not only was Guy Stephens (@guy1067) very helpful, his response was pretty much immediate (so I didn’t have time to formulate any negative theories). The same applies to the customer service team in Preston, who are the ones who called me up. They were very courteous too, and didn’t beat around the bush wasting my time. 
This is what brands can and should use platforms like Twitter for. 
Carphone Warehouse, thumbs up to you. 
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5 thoughts on “Carphone Warehouse on Twitter: Service with a Virtual Smile

  1. Totally agree….in principle.

    Kudos to CW aside, my worry with brands on twitter (and other CS response on social media platforms) is that it directs attention from existing channels of customer service and exclude the majority of people that are not on twitter

    i wonder how long would it been if you had contacted them through less immediate channels. i guess that my point is that some companies divert 1-2 personnel to twitter, enjoys public kudos (and SEO) such as this post where as their customer service remains poor. I hope this is not the case with Carphone

  2. Hey Asi: Agree with you that the majority of customers for a place like CW (and in general) are not on Twitter. I guess I’m just glad that I had the option to get customer service this way and it worked well – that the option was there for me to take, and it worked. It doesn’t work for all brands, and not all the time either, unless brands have a dedicated resource to this. I think it would have taken longer through normal channels, yes.

    In general, all brands should treat their customers with the same level of respect no matter what channels they use to communicate with them.

    Re: kudos, if they deal with a customer well through normal channels, they should get kudos for that – maybe by the customer writing a letter to an editor of a mag or something. With platforms like Twitter, and anything on the internet, it’s just much more rapid and easy to track – the amplification and visibility is much higher. That’s not going to change going forward, and customers like us will have to get used to it, and brands will have to learn to use it properly. :)

  3. Hi, I’m Guy from Carphone Warehouse (@guy1067) and helped Anjali resolve her issue. I agree with the comments and it’s something that has been on my mind more and more since I started using Twitter: why are complaints dealt with more quickly when they originate via Twitter. Perhaps it’s because it’s new, perhaps it’s because of the perceived threat/opportunity of the size of the network people belong to, perhaps it’s because it challenges us or forces us to go across all departments to get a solution, perhaps it’s because Twitter is real time and we feel a greater sense of urgency…

    I’m not sure which but I am thinking about how we can transfer the best of Twitter to more traditional means of handling complaints. My fear is that in due course, Twitter becomes just another channel. My challenge: preserve what makes it different.

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