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Get better customer service with these social media hacks

Get better customer service with these social media hacks
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The modern world we live in is great, until it's not. When the services we subscribe to and gadgets we rely on are working, everything is wonderful. But the minute they break down or something goes wrong, it feels like everything falls to pieces. Just think about it. Everyone has a story they could tell about a horrible customer service experience.

It happens all the time. An unauthorized charge shows up on your monthly bank statement, or your cellphone suddenly stops working. Whatever the issue may be, in most cases our first reaction is to try to fix it ourselves. Not because we want to, but because we don't want to deal with the hassle of dealing with the company directly.

You've been there, waiting on hold for the customer service representative to pick up, only to be transferred from one department to another, each time being asked to verify your account information. Saying it's a headache is quite the understatement. But did you know there's a little trick that can help solve this?

It's called the @mention (at mention). We've told you about this little trick before, and how it can help you to score vouchers and discounts with major airlines, and Kim recently shared these same tips in an interview with Time.com.

It all boils down to this: Social media has changed everything. Companies are now so concerned with their reputations and online presence that, in many cases, they employ dedicated teams to monitor the web for negative comments.

Enter the @mention.

The @mention is predominantly a term that applies to Twitter, but the basic concept is that you're using social media to call a company out for something that's happened. Say, for example, your internet is slow and you can't get through to their customer service department. Sending a Tweet directly to the company that explains your frustration will get their attention.

Tip within a tip: Need help learning the lingo on Twitter? Click here for a handy cheat sheet that breaks down everything you need to know to use Twitter like a boss.

But before you use social media to launch a complaint, there are a few tricks you should know. First, you'll need to do a little research on the company to see which social media platform they use most. Some companies will respond more quickly on Facebook than Twitter, or LinkedIn than Facebook. Search for dedicated accounts the company has for customer support. For example, Nike has the Twitter handle @NikeSupport, and American Express has @AskAmex. Most companies will also have a page on Facebook, like Walmart's.

Next, you'll need to understand a bit of the language on social media. We've already explained one of the key terms (@mention), but another you'll need to know is called the hashtag. Hashtags are basically categories that group content together. To use a hashtag, all you have to do is place a # before the word, or group of words for the category. For example, the hashtag #kimkomando will list any post that has that label on Twitter.

Tip within a tip: If you do wind up needing to call customer service directly, you don't want to wait on hold or be bounced around in the company directory. Click here for a little-known secret for getting straight through to speak with a human.

When launching a complaint on social media, you'll need to use these tools effectively. A direct call out at the company (@mention) may not be enough. Use hashtags like #customerservice and #needhelp to get more attention.

One of the biggest things to keep in mind when using social media to get help is that you need to include some specifics. Don't be vague about the problem. If your flight was delayed, include the number of hours you've been sitting on the tarmac. Another great tactic is to include a photo or video as documentation, especially if something is damaged.

Kim shares two more tips in her interview with Times.com. Click here to check it out, and learn when to finally make this public social media conversation private!

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