First hand report of Twitter-driven customer service: The sprinkler story ~ Brand Mix

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First hand report of Twitter-driven customer service: The sprinkler story

Photo: The RD-600 Rain Dial from Irritrol: Me (once again, obviously)

I just couldn't get this freakin' Rain Dial sprinkler controller to work. I was down in my poorly-lit basement turning knobs, reading instructions, pushing buttons with no success. As I reached the point of give-up, I noticed that the name of the company was: "Irritrol," a name that summed up my mood. So, to release my exasperation, I tweeted: "My sprinkler meter's broken so Irritrol = Irritation + Troll vs. intended Irrigation + control." Not my greatest tweet but it made me feel better and off I went to bed. The next morning, I woke up to this message from Dan Winterton, the Irritrol Marketing Manager:

I was given your e-mail by a co-worker that said you posted on Twitter some problems you were having with your irrigation timer. I would like to help you out with your problem. Feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call and we can see what we can do to help.
So, I emailed him back and then we spoke on the phone and, in the politest way possible, he and a colleague convinced me, without ever saying so, that this was most likely a case of operator error and went over the steps I needed to take. Which I took and, of course, the sprinklers fired up and the system is working perfectly.

So kudos to Dan and the Irritrol team for being in the vanguard of Twitter-driven customer service. I followed up with a "thanks" email and asked him about the set-up for this Twitter service and it turns out that they are still in start-up/thinking about it mode with a few, interested workers tracking tweets and reporting anything interesting. Not a bad way to start for small to medium businesses. I wonder when such a level of customer service will go from being way above and beyond expectations to what's always expected?

Meanwhile, now that the controller is working, unseasonal rain has come to the Bay Area. If I tweet about that, will someone fix that too?

P.S. I still don't like the company name. We could help with that.

1 comment:

remy.allis said...

Great story Martin.
Kudos to Irritrol.

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