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10/03/2014 by

Social Networks Your Customer Service Sucks. Big-time!

Most social networks are making big money selling eyeballs. Some of them are filthy rich, due to their IPO. But still your customer care sucks big-time?

Social Networks Your Customer Service Sucks. Bigtime!  By Igor Beuker for

I am fine with the fact that Google, Facebook and Twitter are making massive ad revenues. I also don’t care that they are media-owners, masquerading as tech companies.

However, I am not fine with their customer service. It’s really horrible how these social sites treat their customers (consumers, brands and agencies).

Isn’t it time we demand a much better service from these rich and overpromising players?

Social Networks: Your Customer Services Sucks.

I help several Fortune 500 brands with marketing and innovation. They are furious about the lack of customer service at Google, Facebook, Twitter and Zite.

Social Networks Your Customer Service Sucks. Bigtime!

I will give you some examples here.

Maybe you recognize a few?

Why Twitter Sucks at Customer Care?

Twitter made a fortune out of its IPO. But many brands and agencies would love to shoot the blue bird from the sky. Have you ever experienced a Twitter hack?

Why Twitter Sucks at Customer Care?

Some of my brands did. Also my personal Twitter account was hacked. I can tell you: a true nightmare. Especially because the blue bird was hiding when I needed it most.

Due to my global role at WPP, I had direct access to C-level people at Twitter. That helped me after 3 weeks. But their customer service was a shame. No service at all.

Why Google Sucks at Customer Care?

Google is the market leader and multi-billion Dollar media company. Their core business is selling ads. Many brands and agencies have had their problems with Google AdWords or Analytics. Same goes for branded presence at Google+.

Although these brands all spend millions per year at Google, the media mogul neglected them for weeks. How the hell is that possible?

Why Facebook Sucks at Customer Care?

Many artists and movie starts have suffered from fake Facebook accounts. Idiots that create a fake fan page can easily destroy the brand called you, right? But not matter how big the damage, Facebook does not answer for weeks. Or months.

This lack of customer service drives managers and broadcasters totally mad. I understand why: they are the ones top protect their artists.

So Facebook, you can acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion, but you cannot get a customer service department up and running? How can you explain that?

Why Zite Sucks at Customer Care?

Zite is the mobile app curating content. I like the service that was recently acquired by Flipboard. Zite brings you to read and share the news you love.

But when you change your Twitter password, for example after having survived a hack, Zite offers no help at all reconnecting you when technology fails.

Yes, after 6 messages on their Twitter, their CEO responded that the Zite helpdesk would take care of it. Fact is, after 2 months it’s still not working. Is their helpdesk on a sabbatical leave?

Switching From Brand Promise to Proof

I have noticed that many brands are still very advertising driven. They focus most of their time and budget on buying attention and shouting brand promises.

Switching From Brand Promise to Proof - by Igor Beuker for

With a team of senior consultants at Mountview however, we help brands to load balance their brand promise and their proof.

What does this mean for CMOs and innovation managers?

That in the era of people, planet, profit brands should go beyond advertising and work much harder on delivering their promise.

In other words, more focus on usefulness, relevancy or meaningfulness. The Coca-Cola’s of this world can add happiness to our lives. But not all brands can be funny all the time.

Offering great products, great customer service and advanced CRM, that’s the roadmap for brands to earn a high NPS score and brand ambassadors.

To summarize our vision: brands should promise less, but proof more.

My Opinion

It might be clear that I dislike the way how these companies push their brand promise, but do not care about their service levels at all.

When companies make so much money from advertising, they should have a great helpdesk in place. Especially the companies who made an IPO.

In the old world the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is crucial. Same goes for these social networks. But due to their lousy service levels, I score their NPS at 3.

I do hope these players understand the power to the people era we live in. That reputation is key and negative buzz ca kill any brand in the world.

So I do expect to see significant improvements from these companies in a few months.

If they don’t? We’ll be happy to start a movement with more examples.

What About You?
Do you share my experience? What other problems did you encounter? We all get smarter from peer discussions, so share your opinion.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker is an acclaimed trendwatcher & pro speaker, serial entrepreneur, marketing consultant and board member at several disruptive media, technology and entertainment firms. Book Igor as keynote speaker, follow Igor on Twitter or contact him via LinkedIn.


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