I’ve had my share of woes with web hosting companies over the years. Servers down, hard drive failures, loss of email, power outages and lousy customer service to name a few. And while very hosting relationship we have had over the years started well, it was lousy customer service that always ended the relationship.
This is why I have to tip my hat to HostGator (our current host) who time and time again has utilized every effort to provide the very best in customer service. One of their most effective efforts has been Twitter.
Case in point: Yesterday the Hostgator offices experienced a power failure. Even though they have a back up generator, for some reason power was not being transferred to their office. No power, no computers and even worse – no phones. The power outage did not affect the servers that host sites as those are in separate state of the art data centers. It did affect their ability to provide support however both online and via phones.
Rather than just curl up in a ball and hide as most hosting companies do when they experience technical glitches, HostGator utilized Twitter to not only keep customers informed as to what was happening but to interact with them as well.
This is not the first time HostGator has used Twitter to communicate with customers. They do it all the time – even when they are not experiencing some kind of technical difficulty. What impressed me about yesterday’s incident is that someone on staff there was using their Blackberry to update their Twitter feed. Now that’s great customer service!
Here was the initial announcement.
Notice that the tweet was sent from “Twitterberry” which is a Twitter application for Blackberry.
I retweeted their tweet and added my own comment (in brackets).
While not a complete list of all the tweets HostGator posted, here is a summary of them updating customers (and whoever else is following them) as to what was going on and the steps they were taking to remedy the situation.
The tweet below is one of quite a few where HostGator is interacting with clients.
Letting customers know that they have updated phone systems, most likely with message that they can’t answer phones.
Tweet below reveals that they have discovered what went wrong.
Power has been restored.
And finally, everything is back to normal.
A very clever use of Twitter indeed. This is a great example that any company with a large customer base should follow – that is to set up a Twitter account and invite customers to follow the account. Then not only use Twitter to communicate with customer base during problematic scenarios but at all times.
I follow them on twitter as well and am a big fan of their customer service. Not sure how a company with so many clients treats me so well! Thanks Hostgator!
I’ve been using hostgator for about 6 months now and have recommended them a few times already. They’re good and I have no complaints so far. Haven’t had to use them for support but glad they’re all over twitter, because you know that’s like my main deal 🙂
Thx for the writeup David
Great job David. It it weren’t for your blog post a lot fewer people would have come to know of this great use of Twitter for customer care.
Thanks for this post. I was the guy with the BlackBerry trying to keep people informed. I’m glad you found the tweets to be helpful and I appreciate you noting our handling of the situation.
Customer Service Manager
a great work done by hostgator this is what hostgaotr is different from other host which keeps me glued to them .
This is one of the many reasons I LOVE hostgator. They have always been great with the small issues I’ve had, and the stupid questions. I don’t know why anyone would host with someone else.
I definitely agree that Twitter is becoming a useful tool for customer service. It’s not only to useful to communicate outwards, but to capture the general opinion and to spot problems that our customers are having.
Lots of businesses are utilizing Twitter for customer services, and it is really an effective way to reach out to customers and address issues, queries, and other concerns. Twitter allows for real-time communication between the customers and the businesses, so solutions are quickly implemented. Thanks!
A very good example of good customer service on Twitter. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
The team @ verygoodservice.com
And that’s also why Hostgator is one of my all time favorite hosting companies.
Great example of customer service via Twitter! and great job by HostGator. We provide a real-time customer service & support forum for any company that uses Twitter.
Definitely tweeter is a very good tool for customer care. Customer care is one of the most important factors when deciding which service provider to choose, and hostgator makes a difference here. By caring about their customers they keep them glued to the company and grow their reputation. The idea of using tweeter is just great, more companies should follow the example and use tweeter for more than advertising.
A great example of Twitter customer service from a truly top class hosting company.
The company I work for in my 9-5 has just employed 3 people for the sole purpose of being our “Twitter Customer Service Department”. They monitor Twitter for people having a bad experience and offer to help out and expedite the problem solving!
Really clever and keeps our customers happy too!
I’ve only just got into Twitter so I didn’t know it was being used for this!
Maybe I should tweet about how much my cable provider sucks and maybe they’ll get someone to fix it for me so I don’t have to wait on hold for another hour!
Innovative use of social media for sure!
I think this is a great idea. Not only are people using Twitter to find out news, but they are able to get quick responses. I feel like this is something I would want to implement for my site.
True. This is great idea and can make process very transparent as other people can also see the tweets or review regarding your service and support!
I am glad there are companies that are quickly learning how to use new technologies to provide better service to their customers.