No, you don't need to be a presidential candidate for that. It works for everyone, like democracy, under Obama. Okay, political rants/jokes end here. We are here to discuss a different kind of rant - the kind we do on Twitter, aka "Twitterant". If done right, it really works.
Case in point:
I had placed an order for a bluetooth keyboard with Best Buy this Thanksgiving weekend. While all my other packages (from Black Friday shopping) had arrived, this one was forever in transit. Today noon, I received a notification saying that my order was 'successfully canceled and refunded'.
I called their customer service to see what was going on. Three hold-ups and transfers later, they said it was delivered to the wrong address, and returned by the guy it went to (thankfully though). Hence, cancelled, returned, and case closed. I asked if they could arrange it to be re-shipped it to me. I was told to buy it at the 'fresh' price (without 50% discount), and they won't be able to offer anything more than that (there wasn't anything offered here). I escalated the matter and requested to speak to someone higher up. Same solution. I asked to speak someone even higher up, and was told that there was none, for the matter. Frustrated of having spent so much time on something that shouldn't have been an issue at all, I ended the call with "I just want a 'No' - that you can't help me, so I can put it on Twitter, do I have your No?"
Rant started, lasting just 3 tweets. Received a direct message within 5 minutes, and issue was resolved within an hour. Same order re-shipped. Bonus: Got an apology as well.
This is not the first time this has happened. I have gotten a wrong pizza delivered, my iCloud notes did disappear once, and I couldn't access my pay portal for months last year. Domino's offered a free pizza the same day, Apple got someone to call me instantly, and ADP, albeit slowest, got around eventually.
Many companies you deal with, have grown large to a scale, where they've gotten spread and bureaucratic (not referring specifically to any of those covered above). If a company lacks a strong culture to stick onto, it usually breaks apart (operationally) beyond a point. Not everyone working for them is given a lot of authority to affect end results, and it could be really frustrating as a consumer to voice your concerns, as they will listen to you, albeit helplessly.
Here comes your new age savior, Twitter.
Solid and strategically well publicized fact-based rant is real public-shaming. If you have the following and right tags, your tweets could get thousands of views. No company wants one negative experience to affect tastes of thousands of passive customers. Fixing that one negative experience is any day easier, and those who manage social media customer care, definitely have the highest powers in their divisions to fix the leaking tap.
All that you got to have is a little credibility: a real account, preferably your face on the profile, a solid following, right tag strategy, and a complaint backed up by facts. You can affect global consumer tastes, or at least get your package re-delivered.
Do you have any twitterant-ing experiences to share? Let the world know.
Also, feel free to ask me questions about this, or any other social media strategy below.
I have nothing against companies mentioned above. I love them all, except ADP (Sorry!).
Maintain your respect in social world, Be polite, Have a helping attitude, Don't ask what you don't deserve, Don't overdo it.
PC: IE, Advantis