Social Media Nashville: No More Excuses

By admin | March 1st, 2013

Social Media

My 87 year old grandmother was acting a little odd. Well, she is odd most of the time, but in a good way. Last week, she was talking all kinds of crazy and wasn’t able to complete a full sentence. To be honest, I was worried she would start telling dirty jokes or revealing things about her younger years that I would never be able to erase from my memory. So, my mother called to say she was headed to the emergency room and I met them there.

Luckily, we are friends with one of the ER doctors and he personally came to check on my sweet grandmother and assured us that she didn’t have a stroke and ordered a bunch of tests that ruled out infection. They decided to admit her so they could monitor her overnight. All the while, she was just jabbering away about things that made sense to her, but weren’t making a bit of sense to us.

The next morning, when my mother arrived to get an updated status on my grandmother, the on-call doctor had not been to check on her. Ever. Like, not once. So, as any good daughter worried about the health and wellbeing of her mother would do, my mom headed to Twitter.

Yep. After watching my brother and I live tweet the Presidential elections and the Superbowl, my 63 year old mother joined The Twitterz. Mom hadn’t been tweeting long, but she sent a firm (not mean) tweet to the hospital telling them that no one had been in to see my grandmother and what room they were in. Less than 5 minutes later, the doctor swiftly showed up in her room for a thorough examination. In the meantime, the hospital replied to my mother and sent her a direct message asking what else they could do for her. The director of the hospital personally came to check on my grandmother and everyone was happy. My mom immediately sent the hospital a tweet of gratitude, as did I, and all parties involved were happy and satisfied.

People.  A hospital is on Twitter. They aren’t on Twitter telling people about the very secure HIPAA information that keeps most companies in the medical world from venturing into social media. Nope, they are on Twitter listening and responding and providing patients and future patients with real-time information and updates. They are involved with their community and interacting with local influencers.

There is no excuse to not harness the power of social media. No compliance, regulations, legal jargon or confidentiality agreement should keep a company from using these platforms as another means of customer service. People don’t call 800 numbers anymore. When someone wants to know where they should have a procedure done or what kind of blender to buy, they ask their friends on Facebook or their followers on Twitter. Your company needs to be listening and be prepared to respond when someone has a question or a concern. Get into this space and start showcasing your expertise. No, this doesn’t mean that you should push your product or services on people via social media all day long. That is annoying as hell and won’t get you anywhere. And I will point my snark very much in your direction.

For the record, after 4 weeks of a certain well-known appliance company not successfully fixing my same sweet grandmother’s refrigerator, I sent a firm but polite tweet to their customer service department. She had a new fridge within 3 days. This isn’t because I am some Twitter rock star or anyone special. It’s because I know how to use the power of social media as a customer service tool. And I am always sure to respond with a nice tweet thanking them for their help and publicly tell people what a great job they are doing.

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