The conversation above started when I recieved an email from the trainline about thier new 'print-your-own-ticket' system. Not entirely convinced by the practicalities, I took to Twitter to see what others thought.
As I had used @thetrainline handle out of courtesy I knew they could see my tweet, but as it was not wholly positive - or directly addressed to them as a question or complaint - they had the option not to reply. Many companies wouldn't have done, shying away from negative publicity or thinking an interaction with me wouldn't be productive.
Trainline however saw an opportunity to try and convert me and did so in a very friendly professional manner. A great example of how social media can be used to intercept negative public sentiment and win the individual around. They cited others using the system successfully (but without coming accross as provocative) and hashtagged the word 'convenience' (the aspect I had thought would cause issues) to reaffirm just how easy it is.
They also used lots of smiley faces to show that even if they were disagreeing with me, they were being helpful not confrontational and this kept the tone personable the whole way through. Angus identifying himself at the beginning meant that a level of trust was built up as I was now tweeting with an individual rather thn a faceless entity.
It really is a good example of company tweeting and I'm sure they actually wouldn't have thought in this level of detail about the language used (once tone of voice and editorial style is established, responding on social media in this manner begins to come naturally) but I hope it is useful to dissect the elements that make it successful here.
Let me know if you've seen (or had) any other great customer service responses on social media.