In another example of Twitter being used to increase efficiency there is a story on USA Today about Comcast using Twitter to communicate with customers after lightning caused a blackout during a hockey playoff game. This is efficient for both Comcast and the customer.
First the consumer perspective:
"I did a search on Twitter as soon as the game went off the air," says Dave Decker, 31, a Web developer in Pittsburgh who regularly tweets while watching sporting events. "The mystery was resolved in minutes. Before Twitter, it would have been a nightmare trying to find out what happened on the phone."
and from the service provider perspective:
The popular communications technology has helped companies quickly and inexpensively respond to customer complaints, answer questions and tailor products and services. It has supplemented current customer services, easing the load on call centers and expensive mailers that most consumers abhor. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and online software services such as LiveOps, Salesforce.com and RightNow Technologies are all are being used to improve customer service, retain users and gain a competitive advantage.
Finally, three other social media success stories:
•Direct sales. Dell says it has sold more than $2 million worth of PCs through its @DellOutlet account (over 710,000 followers) on Twitter since 2007.
•Up-to-the-minute service details. Twitter can function like a real-time search for airlines and others. For example, JetBlue (@jetBlue; over 730,000 followers) assiduously answers traveler queries about flight times, delays and weather updates. "It’s like an early-warning system," saysspokesman Morgan Johnston.
•Customer feedback that leads to enhanced services. Starbucks is using a blend of social media via Twitter (@Starbucks; over 230,000 followers), Facebook (3.2 million fans) and its own social-networking site (MyStarbucksIdea.com) for product ideas and feedback. Splash sticks, the company’s new plastic plugs for sip holes, were created in part through feedback.