Here's an interesting post over on TechCrunch this evening. It's a look at Comcast, and how they are approaching customer service and Twitter. Comcast is promoting this concept that "Twitter has changed the culture of their company." Now, instead of just providing sucky service and having a public network of problems, they engage customers when they complain (using Twitter). Apparently they now have ten people working, actively monitoring Twitter for complaints, then engaging them.
On the surface, this is becoming an increasingly popular strategy for businesses, particularly consumer-facing businesses with poor service reputations. But if you look at the comments in the Techcrunch post, there's an implied question -- does responding to a disgruntled customer (if you can't do anything to change some of the core problems that are making the customer unhappy) really equate to better customer service?
While the basic question may seem silly or irrelevant, keep in mind that Salesforce.com is now offering a Twitter-to-Case extension on their App Exchange platform. What this means is that, in a matter of clicks, you too can start monitoring Twitter, listening to for customers who are complaining about your business. And while that may seem like amazing, enabling technology, if you don't have a real strategy for solving the issues raised by those unhappy customers, your new technology may not be a solution.
Anyway, I just wanted to call your attention to the link -- it may get some thoughts rolling in your head, kind of like it did mine.