Thursday, May 01, 2008

Using Twitter as a customer support tool.

Most of you will be aware of Twitter, it's an SMS driven micro-blogging tool.
Messages are sent to a central number and are then displayed on the Twitter website. You can subscribe to other people's tweets, send direct messages, receive updates to your mobile, import your tweets into your blog etc.
It's a great way to throws short (140 character) messages into the public domain and start discussions or exchanges.
Recently I used Twitter for another purpose; we were providing public WiFi access at the IWTC conference in Dublin.
Part of the agreement was that we would also support the network during the conference.
Rather than permanently place someone on-site I decided to use a new approach to providing support. I knew that there would be a good few "twitterers" at the conference so I decided to communicate with them via Twitter to keep track of the networks performance and to correct any issues.
On one of the days we were alerted that the connectivity had dropped but very little other detail. I quickly put a message out on twitter seeing who at the conference was using the wifi access and in what areas. It was quickly determined that the issue was in the bar area. I logged into the network remotely, rebooted the wireless access point in question and put another message on twitter to see if the problem was solved. I had a response within a minute letting me know that everything was back up and running.
All this took less than 10 minutes and was done during my lunch from the kitchen table in my house!
It really shows the power of a medium like Twitter.

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