I have moved exactly seven times in my life. I know that’s not a ton, but it’s enough to have some, ahem, experiences with a few different cable/satellite/internet providers.
I used Charter in a few different cities and then Brighthouse in Birmingham. (Now that I’m no longer in an apartment that forces me to use a certain company, I have DirecTV and am relatively satisfied with it, but let’s concentrate on the cable folks.)
I would say that Charter and Brighthouse were equally bad in product, but Brighthouse did have a semi-redeeming quality. They were incredibly helpful on social media. Every time I had to visit their physical office in downtown Birmingham, I was greeted by less than enthusiastic workers who did the bare minimum, if that. But the social media team was always courteous, understanding and helpful. When I was a Brighthouse customer, I gave up on using the phone or attempting to get attention in person. I always turned to Twitter.
I was pleased to find upon checking @brighthousecare that my favorite helper from when I was a Brighthouse customer, Carlos, is still tweeting away.
I have heard a lot of people in Birmingham complain about their Brighthouse service, and of course you can see how many complaints the company receives on Twitter alone. But the social team keeps an upbeat tone and answers quickly. (There’s also a note in their bio that tells customers when the account is manned.) This certainly keeps their customers calm(ish) while Brighthouse addresses the problem(s). They use words and phrases like hello friend, happy to help, thanks and the ever cheerful 🙂 — which keeps the conversation light and makes stressful situations (such as BUT I’M MISSING THE FINALE!) a little less stressful for the customer.
I think it’s also a nice touch that each team member signs tweets with their name. It humanizes the big bad cable brand and keeps people (at least me) from getting quite as angry. It’s easier to be impatient and rude with a faceless brand than an individual with a name.
You’ll notice the Brighthouse team directs a lot of the conversation to direct message. I think this achieves two positives for them: (1) Customers can share personal information like service addresses or account numbers, and (2) It moves a potentially negative conversation to a more private place. However, for the record, I do not think the second reason is not reason enough alone to privatize a conversation on social media.
Brighthouse’s social team made all the cable/internet outages and equipment failures more bearable because I felt like I had someone on my side. Will I ever go back? I doubt it. But I commend the social team on a tough job well done. Now somebody give Carlos a raise!
Have you had any good or bad experiences with your cable/satellite/internet providers’ social media team? How did it affect your view of the overall company?