In a post at her Conversation Agent blog, Valeria Maltoni recounts how a Skype call to her family in Italy went horribly wrong on Christmas day. "My account is set up to auto-recharge when it dips below a certain amount so that I do not need to worry about interrupting a call to recharge—and worse, having to wait until the transfer is approved," she explains.

But after her account inexplicably failed to replenish itself, she scrambled to implement a manual recharge during the call—a short-term fix that ran out before she could speak with her mother.

Maltoni made online inquiries about the glitch, and a Skype representative contacted her via Twitter to offer help. Oddly, though, he took a day to follow up on her immediate response. The billing issue created by the manual recharge went unresolved for three days, and then the rep finally sent Maltoni another tweet promising to investigate the cause of the problem.

The sluggish response times left Maltoni unimpressed. "[W]hen you reach out to me in an immediate channel that is free to you," she says, "you've got to come through with the same degree of immediacy. Show me you have a sense of urgency."

Your Marketing Inspiration: If you're going to use Twitter for customer service, you must respond in real time. "It is no longer efficient or worth it to fight a company over service when one can easily find another company hungry and willing to take its place and deliver," says Maltoni.

More Inspiration:
Beth Harte: Ghostwriting, Social Media and Ethics
Paul Barsch: Should Recommendations Still Be Trusted?
Alan Wolk: Knowing Armano

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