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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 25, 2010

Time Warner Deploys Social Media to Communicate With Customers

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, the second-largest U.S. cable operator, is deploying social media to including an online customer care team and a new blog to help it attract and retain customers via improving communications with them via this rapidly-expanding new channel.

TWC, located in five geographic areas New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas offers and receives stiff competition from and to telcos both landline and/or wireless and satellite firms. It serves more than 14 million customers who subscribe to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services.

TWC has created a new Online Customer Care Team that uses Twitter, other forms of social media plus e-mail to get customers help anytime, anywhere, and on any device. The team is available Monday - Friday, and from 12PM to 8:30 PM ET Saturday and Sunday. To contact the Online Customer Care Team, all one needs to do is tweet an issue to @twcablehelp or e-mail twcable.help@twcable.com.

The Online Customer Care team is comprised of four people and is led by Online Customer Care Manager Phil Blum (@TWCablePhil). Soft-launched on Feb.19 the team has engaged over 1,500 customers via Twitter.

“We’ve had approximately a ten percent increase in volume each day since we went live, and  we're expecting that to pick up significantly as awareness increases,” says Blum. “We stand ready to handle as many of our customers as would like to reach us.  So far, our customers seem to enjoy the personalized service that we’re offering.”

TWC has also launched a new blog titled Untangled. Located at http://www.twcableuntangled.com, it is managed and edited by TWC’s Public Affairs group. The blog will discuss both large and small initiatives from the cable firm: policy issues, service alerts, product rollouts and more. Jeff Simmermon, Director of Digital Communications will be the blog’s Editor-in-Chief, with assistance from people in all of TWC's departments and divisions.

“It’s time for us to be a more active part of an ongoing, ever-growing conversation,” says Ellen East, TWC Chief Communications Officer. “We’re starting this blog because we have a lot to say, and we want to say it directly to our customers. We want to introduce you to the great people of Time Warner Cable and show you how committed they are to connecting you with the information and entertainment you care about in ways that are simple and easy. And you’d better believe that if one of our people rescues somebody from a burning building, you’re going to hear about it here.

“We’re here to pull back the curtain when we can and give you a look behind the scenes at one of America’s largest cable companies. We know that the cable business can come across as confusing and hard to deal with and we want to untangle some of that.”

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard