The customer is always right. OK well not always but we already knew that.
Earlier today I was looking at a company's Twitter feed and shaking my head. The feed read like an organization that wanted to use Twitter but was failing miserably. I should blog that crossed my mind but there was "work" to be done. Then getting ready to take a break this afternoon I read a case study on Comcast reps on Twitter. Long post made short Comcast has some great customer service people on Twitter.
Back then to the company I was looking at this morning. Well call them X because I don't know that much about them or how good or bad their offerings are (although I am nominally a paying customer I just don't use their product much). What struck me in reading the X tweets is just how blatantly they communicated that the policy handbook, profitability and self-interest come first and the customer is a distant thought.
Customers of X had tweeted about various problems to which they would get a response. Then, however, nearly every exchange ended in some form of pass the buck. It turns out that nothing X did was ever their fault. Product breakages were a problem caused by some outside force. Design decisions are done to "protect" customers. All and all it was a case study in how not to attract customers.
Ah, and therein lies the key, Comcast is using Twitter brilliantly. Not because they somehow shift responsibility or lay blame elsewhere. Not because they don't have universally happy customers. But they are being real and are responding to customers as real people not annoyances that increase cost.
Edit: Added comment to clarity that I am a customer of Company X although I don't in fact use the product very much.