Moving at the speed of social networking

A few years ago, when my Nintendo Gamecube broke down, I called them up and told them about my problem. I shipped them my unit and received it back repaired.

Total turnaround time: 7 days. Cost: $0.

A disappointed customer was instantly turned into a super loyal fan. (present problems aside)

In present day, being able to call a company isn’t always a given. A lot of things are done online.
Submitting a complaint form in itself is a gauntlet of frustration that oftentimes filter out the weak.

But what happens when companies become accessible through social networking?

A recent experience had me tweeting about my dissatisfaction.

A few hours later, I had a range of responses from friends who agreed with my assessment, warned me to never go back, and recommended alternatives.  Around the same time, I was contacted by a rep of that company through twitter asking me about the experience.  I was happy to see their initiative and pointed her to an online review I had made.  Then, silence.

Absolute silence.  For 5 days, I have not heard back.

Now, the real question isn’t if 5 days is too long to respond – they’ve lost me. The question is, how quickly should the company be expected to respond?

If that rep had talked to me and walked me through my complaints, she might have saved me from leaving. I’d even give her time to look over my review, and respond the next day.  But after 24 hours, I’d say that sense I had of “Neat! They have attentive customer service” has transitioned into “Ugh. They dropped me like a rock.”

What are your expectations regarding customer service response time in today’s social networking world?

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