• Telstra to offer tech support over social media
  • Twitter, Facebook and CrowdSupport forum can all be used to contact Telstra support
  • Other ISPs like Optus, Exetel and Vodafone all use social networking

Telstra recently announced it will be offering 24/7 365 day per year customer support via Twitter and Facebook. Some people may think this is just another way for the giant telecommunications company to shirk its responsibilities, while others see it as a step forward towards being more accountable with its customers. When a customer posts a comment on Telstra’s Twitter page, everyone will be able to see it, so it’s in Telstra’s best interest to answer it quickly and with helpful advice.

Since Telstra joined Twitter in 2009 it has sent over 35,000 messages to over 11,000 followers in response to customer enquiries. Telstra says it searched Twitter and found the term Telstra mentioned nearly 100,000,000 times. What is significant for telecommunications customers and their providers is that Telstra found over 20% of all tweets at @telstra are done outside of business hours.

If phone and broadband providers answer these messages, it gives people more of an opportunity to relate with companies, and to receive help. It also won’t matter if your are travelling abroad, as international call costs become obsolete in the customer support process. Now, if your broadband drops out at 1am, you may get an expert’s advice on how to fix it right away.

Half of all Australians use Facebook, so it is also in a provider’s best interest to have a portal there for customers to visit. Telstra is offering options to ‘chat’ to support personnel ‘live’, or to submit requests via its Facebook page.

Telstra has also created its own forum called CrowdSupport, which allows people to post questions about products and services, but besides having customer support members answer these queries, other Telstra customers are able to interact with one another, helping each other with answers on their own.

The majority of other Australian broadband providers also use Twitter, and some use Facebook too. We did a quick search and found Optus, iiNet, iPrimus, Internode, Westnet, Eftel, Exetel and Vodafone all have Facebook pages. On Twitter, we found Club Telco, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, iPrimus, Internode, Exetel, Optus and iiNet all had accounts.

If you would like to comment on or make an enquiry to your broadband provider, you’ll need to join Facebook and/or Twitter as a member. Joining is free, simple and easy. It only takes a few minutes, and all you need is a name and an email address.

With social networking sites we may find our broadband providers becoming more accountable for their actions, easier to contact, and offering a lot more information and interaction to their customers. Get on Twitter or Facebook, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and see how the experience goes. We would love to hear about it, so afterwards please send us a Tweet on the Compare Broadband Twitter account at @BroadbandOz, or at the Compare Broadband Facebook page.