How to use Twitter for customer service

@trib on @leolaporte twitterGreat customer service is active because you want to be sure your customers are aware of your presence. Twitter gets the word out there fast, so why not take advantage of this social media phenomenon? Ask users to follow you on Twitter by placing a button on your website and getting involved.

Twitter employs a relaxed conversational platform. For instance, if someone complains or asks for help, you can reply to them immediately. In a few words, an unhappy customer can get right to the point, and you then have the opportunity to resolve the problem in a single tweet. If the issue becomes more complex, you can have a deeper conversation, but you also can have the option to supply the customer with another means of contacting you so that you may deal with the problem immediately, and isn’t that exactly what customer service strives to do?

Twitter can help you build a positive brand image because great customer service gets the “buzz” which leads to more customers through the attention. There have been many happy customer stories that have led to international news starting from a mere tweet. You can track conversations and see what others are saying about your brand by using keywords. It’s a great way to build your image, but remember honesty and transparency are key factors. It is very easy for customers to research your company, and if you don’t provide what you promise or don’t tell customers the truth, Twitter can have a negative impact on your business.

Twitter can save you money on customer service. It requires less time and less money than traditional call centers. Since Twitter is so precise, there is less time involved solving customer problems. Of course you can’t eliminate entire customer service departments, but how many times have customers called in with questions or issues that could have been happily solved in 140 characters?

A lot of companies use Twitter to promote their businesses almost daily. Starbucks posts new offers and participates in discussions. JetBlue promotes Twitter based customer service and names the representative. Even Home Depot Twitters customers offering home repair and decorating advice.

Twitter works; it’s popular, and it’s free!

photo credit: dnwallace

2 Responses to “How to use Twitter for customer service”

  1. CustServ: Customer Relations: The New Competitive Edge said:

    Jul 26, 10 at 12:27 am

    […] Untitled gives tips for using Twitter for customer service. One of the uses is that “Twitter can help you build a positive brand image because great […]

  2. Michael Pace said:

    Jul 26, 10 at 7:54 am

    Thanks Cheryl for bringing to light the power of social media combined with customer service. More frequently, social media articles and blogs center on marketing and technology. It’s nice to see the attention back on service.

    As the Director of Customer Support for Constant Contact, we have “been in the game” of social support for over a year now and have learned a number of best practices.

    I would love to hear and help contribute to the following topics:
    1. Getting started
    2. Social Support tools
    3. The right agent (competencies and skills needed) – do we need a whole new job description & role?
    4. Where & when does support, PR, general marketing, product, etc… take over when certain tweets come in.
    5. SLA’s for social media
    6. Workforce management for social support
    7. Keep them online or get them offline?
    8. Business Process Management & social media – can/do they go together?
    9. What training do agents need?
    10. Risk management

    My apologies for the long list, but I just hunger for more!

    Michael Pace
    Director of Customer Support
    Constant Contact
    Twitter: @mpace101