Abusing LinkedIn for better customer service

Back when social networks were new, Twitter was a great place to raise a complaint with a company. You could be sure that the Twitter account was run by someone who got social and, more often than not, would show tweets to the CEO.

Sadly, Twitter corporate accounts now all follow the same script "Gosh! That doesn't sound good! Let us put this right. Please DM us your customer number, surname, mother's maiden name, and blood type and we'll get right on to ignoring you."


LinkedIn doesn't suffer from this. It's too full of THOUGHT LEADERS and CHANGE AGENTS who absolutely believe their own hype.

When I have a complaint about a company, and regular customer services just can't fix it, I cheat. I send a connection request to the CEO, or head of customer service, or anyone senior who looks like they might actually hold some sway.

After a month of my energy company sending me incorrect bills, and several hours on hold, I cracked and connected to someone senior there.

Firstly apologies for the experience you have had with XYZ and that we have been unable to provide you with the service needed.  If you could confirm your account number then I will make sure this is looked in to today and provide an update.  For context, I've been at the company since the outset and I'm part of the senior management team at XYZ reporting directly to the COO and the owners. I'm responsible for customer services, billing and metering activities so I can assure you that by making contact you have already escalated the issue.

A few messages later, it was all sorted.

Similarly, when an employer's payroll company started messing me around, I went straight to the top. In this case, an executive had posted several times about their "award winning" team. So I left comments on their post asking if my poor experience with their company was typical of their service. Within a moment, I had a response.

The head of payroll acknowledging my complaint.

And, eventually, they fixed my issues. No amount of speaking to regular customer services had helped to resolve the problems. Some grumpy comments on LinkedIn did.

To be clear - this is kinda a shitty thing to do. It's annoying to the recipients and will almost certainly piss off someone. It may damage your reputation as an AGILE PERFORMANCE EXECUTIVE if your network of talented individuals see you complaining. It's also part of the tragedy of the commons - if everyone does this, the usefulness decreases.

But... it works! And, perhaps, people at the top occasionally need to hear directly how badly their company is letting down customers.

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