Last month Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk proved that he not only knows how to use social media effectively but that he also realizes the importance of solving seemingly insignificant, but actually very important daily problems for his product users.
A Tesla owner took to Twitter to complain about the packed power station in his city. Entrepreneur Loic Le Meur shared his story on Medium:
“I was recently driving to a meeting in Silicon Valley and had to charge my Tesla. I decided to stop at the San Carlos supercharger on my way to Palo Alto and there were 5 other Tesla cars waiting in line to get a charging space. Most drivers seemed to have gone somewhere else as their cars were charging. The San Carlos supercharger is located within walking distance from Whole Foods, Peet’s Coffee, a gym and some restaurants. Many drivers therefore keep their cars parked at the supercharger even once their cars have finished charging.
I tweeted at Elon to tell him.
Within minutes, Elon promised to take action.”
And only six days later, Tesla announced the following policy on its official website:
“We designed the Supercharger network to enable a seamless, enjoyable road trip experience. Therefore, we understand that it can be frustrating to arrive at a station only to discover fully charged Tesla cars occupying all the spots. To create a better experience for all owners, we’re introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability.”
The announcement informed Tesla owners that the company’s app will alert them once their car’s charge is almost complete; and that “For every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger, it will incur a $0.40 idle fee.” The fee is then waived if the car is moved within five minutes.
Musk regularly personally replies to customer questions and complaints on Twitter. He uses the site to gain valuable insight into his customer’s experience with the product, and to share his latest big ideas.
Elon Musk, proving once again that customer service–listening to the customer and fixing their problems–is king, and that social media, when used correctly, is a great platform to accomplish this through.