There are usually three ways to reach a business: a phone call, an email and snail mail, listed in the order of response time. On occasion, a business will have an instant chat service on their website to speak to reps. I find this method to be annoying – the response time is slow, and the rep is usually swamped with chat requests and the internet connection is slow. I’ve experienced waits up to 10 minutes for a response. In addition, I refuse to fill out an email form online as a way of contacting a business, the response time is incredibly slow or it never happens at all. Snail mail – well, it could take weeks resolve an issue this way. So what if there were another way to get a quick answer to your question without having to be stuck sitting at a computer or having a phone in your ear? There is: Twitter.
Being a Bank of America customer myself, I’ve never had a problem getting through to customer service via the phone. However, it’s always nice to have another means to reach that department without having to go through the touch tone menu and listen to classical music while on hold. Bank of America just rolled out a new way to take care of customer questions and problems efficiently through Twitter. Being the geek that I am, I was actually thrilled to hear about this service, since I love Twitter. If you don’t know about Twitter, check out Twitter’s website to find out all the ways you can use it, and not just for this service.
B of A must have hired a full time customer service employee whose sole job is to respond to Twitter requests. You can contact this rep using the B of A Twitter profile online, or send them an SMS message by texting “@BofA_help <your question>” to 40404 on your mobile phone. You will receive a text message back from the customer service representitive, or you can get your reply on the B of A website. By visiting the B of A’s Twitter profile, it appears to me that the Twitter rep is there to respond during all normal business hours; answers seem timely. For sensitive information such as social security or account numbers, the reps will follow up with a phone call to take care of problems in private. You can see for yourself what the response time is by visiting the Bank of America profile on Twitter.
One note: the maximum length of a Twitter message is 140 characters, and you do need to have a Twitter account in order to use the service. The good news is that Twitter is free. If you are a B of A customer, you should give this a try!