What You Can Learn From This Epic Customer Service Rant by SNL's Colin Jost

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Saturday Night Live's head writer went on a Twitter rant after receiving bad customer service, causing a storm of bad publicity for the company involved. What can you do to prevent this from happening to you?

Many customers have been on the frustrating end of receiving bad customer service and it can be difficult to manage their expectations and appreciation of your company if you don't seem to make an effort to help resolve the problem they're having.

Matters are made even more complicated when celebrities join in, as their extensive following online and offline can instantly mean a hit to your reputation if you don't deal with their issues satisfactory.

This is what Time Warner Cable discovered last week when Saturday Night Live's head writer Colin Jost took his frustrations with the service he'd been given for the past few months to the public forum of social media platform Twitter.

Over the course of more than an hour he shattered the already fragile reputation of the cable company with a series of tweets along the lines of: "I wrote a long polite letter notifying #TimeWarnerCable I would be canceling my service and they wrote back, "Mussolini cool af"", and he even offered his nearly 100,000 followers the chance to bag themselves some money, saying: "if you cancel your #TimeWarnerCable and switch to another provider and send me photographic evidence, I will send you a check for $50".

SEE ALSO: 5 Staggering Stats About Why Social Media is Important for Customer Experience

Needless to say, this is not the kind of advertisement anyone would want for their company, but the initial frustrations of Jost with the service provided by Time Warner Cable aside, they could've minimised the damage of the very public outrage if it hadn't taken their Twitter support team well over an hour to respond to Jost's tweets.

This example underlines the importance or providing 24/7 and speedy customer care if you're active on social channels, before a torrent of complaints gets out of control - as the above example shows.

On the flip side of things, competitor Verizon FiOS managed to get some great publicity out of the rant as Jost said: "My new goal in life is to be the Mother Theresa of getting people to switch from Time Warner Cable to Fios".

The fibre optic provider knew exactly how to capitalise on the free advertising as they responded within 15 minutes of Jost's tweet promoting their services with a humorous: "Just throwing this out there: we're in full support of this plan".

SEE ALSO: What Can You Learn From Barclays, HSBC and Santander's Social Media Strategy?

Providing customer service on social channels can be a tricky thing as customers can use the platform to share their frustrations with a huge potential customer base instantly.

While you may not be able to change the negative service the customer in question has experienced, you can take steps to minimise the public damage to your company by ensuring that you respond promptly to their messages and genuinely make an effort to help them resolve the issues(s) they are experiencing.