TWITTER AS A TOOL FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
Although you might not naturally think of Twitter as a tool for customer service it is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for customers to direct their complaints for a quick response and to give praise when they have had a good experience. According to Social Bakers, more than 80% of customer service requests on social media are happening on Twitter.
The main goal of customer service is to provide a solution as quickly as possible and while many will prefer to pick up the phone, customers are quickly learning that with sometimes long wait times to get through to a company a Tweet can yield a much quicker response. Understandably executives can be nervous about negative comments being out in the world for everyone to see but the positive side to this is that it gives a brand the opportunity to respond and resolve the issue publicly, showing how helpful and responsive they are.
The key to projecting your brand in a positive light, despite any negative comments is the quality of your response and the response time. Use the @reply to offer your assistance, this will be a public response and there are no restrictions on who you can reply to. Yes, you are restricted to 140 characters but think carefully about your response, a good start is empathy and/or apology for the problem followed by either a question to gain more knowledge of the situation or a form of solution. If the problem is in any way sensitive or complex it is a good idea to use the @reply to ask them to send you a DM (direct message), which will not be public, and you will not be limited on the number of characters you can use. You can then either request their phone number or provide them with a direct phone number or email address so you can carry on the conversation outside of Twitter should you wish.
Do’s & Don’ts
Ignoring a complaint is never a good idea, even if the comment is negative this is your chance to show how well your company deals with issues and resolves them. Deleting a comment is also a bad idea and doesn’t mean the problem will go away.
Think about your response
Even if you feel the complaint is unjustified remember that this is a public conversation and your opportunity to show understanding and try to resolve the issue.
A study done by Simply Measured showed that: the average response time of companies was 5.1hours, 10% within an hour and 93% within 48hrs. Do include details in your bio of when you will be available to respond to Tweets, if your account isn’t monitored 24hrs a day make sure you display your ‘open hours’, for example: Please note our Twitter is monitored 8.30-5pm Mon-Fri’.
As well as responding to messages posted on your company page, Twitter is also a great listening tool to see what your customers are saying about you even if they haven’t asked you a direct message or what is going on in your industry. Search Twitter using your business name or keywords and hashtags relevant to your industry to see what people are saying and join in the conversation.
Remember that your brand tone of voice and personality should shine through in all your communications including social media. See some great examples of companies dealing with complaints below.
Aside from providing customer service to your existing clients, there are a huge amount of opportunities to tap into your customer base, promote events, launch products, and attract new business via social media. Contact us for a chat to find out more about using Twitter as a tool for customer service and how we can build you a killer strategy!