A while ago I peacefully sat on a train from Amsterdam back to Rotterdam, after an interview regarding a possible internship position. Relieved as I was, fate was not on my side – suddenly I’m stranded in Haarlem and am forced to return to Amsterdam because all I can take is the Intercity direct.

I’m not in the mood for this, because I’m frugal and have €0.94 on my OV. To take the IC direct, I need at least €2.40. But it’s nearly another two weeks until my student finance comes in and I’ve been living off fruit and rice noodles with soy sauce for several days now.

Safe to say, I don’t want to pay. Instead of doing that, I send @NS_online a tweet asking if I can travel on negative credit if all I have to pay for is the supplement. Within ten minutes, I get a response from an employee saying that I can’t. Luckily for me (and my student budget), I find a solution and hop on one of the few normal Intercity trains going to Rotterdam. Money saved, I’m happy.

Priority, no exception

It’s not the first time that I’ve used Twitter to ask a company a question. Recently I asked @Pathe when Hidden Figures will get Rotterdam viewings, and Rowan with customer support told me they would release the next week’s schedule that night. Apparently, they were crossing their fingers for me.

Being a communication and media student, nothing makes me happier than efficient use of social media outlets, especially when it comes to customer relationship management. A company’s presence on social media and the creation of meaningful relationships with its clients have become a priority rather than an exception.

It’s come to the point where sending an email takes too long – especially for a generation that lives on their smartphones and can know within seconds when their train will arrive and whether it’s delayed. Sending a complaint via Twitter is much faster too – and provides a challenge for companies to express themselves in the friendliest way possible, under 140 characters.

Maybe we should start using Twitter more often for problems we face. I hope we do. Because if professors could use Twitter to answer students’ questions, I would maybe understand my assignments before the deadline instead of afterward.