Use Twitter to Offer Better Customer Service

John Krautzel
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In the age of the Internet, consumers have come to expect instantaneous gratification. For service agents who have trouble meeting modern time constraints, Twitter can be an invaluable tool. Integrating Twitter into your customer service scheme can help your agents provide faster service and reduce the overall workload on the customer service department.

Providing Fast Answers

Twitter is known for its real-time communication, as its users can Tweet one another and receive a response within seconds. For customer service agents, the advantages are obvious. By encouraging customers to ask questions through Twitter, you can provide answers quickly and keep customers happy. Since Twitter accounts are public, your responses will be visible to other customers who may have the same question. Large companies might consider creating a separate account just for the customer service department; that way, individual Tweets won't get lost in the fray. Companies can also creating a set of specific hashtags that relate to common service areas. Customers can mark questions with a relevant hashtag or search a hashtag to find information from other users.

Public Accountability

Twitter can be a convenient and accessible way to stay accountable to your customers. When your business makes a mistake, Twitter can humanize your apology — whether you are addressing a single consumer or issuing a blanket apology. The casual nature of the platform gives it a transparent and friendly feeling, making customers feel like they are talking to a person rather than a corporate machine. When you tag individual customers, the person with the original complaint can see that a customer service agent has taken the time to make a personal response. Multinational companies like JetBlue and ASOS are often known to send personal apology Tweets to customers who complain on Twitter. Keep in mind that customers don't always tag your company. To find complaints effectively, you must actively search for your brand name on Twitter to identify problems before they snowball.

Providing Dedicated Service

The key to using Twitter for service is to have specific employees monitor the account and respond immediately to customer inquiries. A designated customer service account can do more harm than good if it lies dormant. Your service agents should aim to answer all Tweets within 24 hours, though sooner is better. The time stamps on Tweets are visible to all users, and when others see that your agents respond to questions immediately, your business automatically looks responsive and caring. Busy Twitter service accounts should be monitored regularly, if not around the clock. For smaller accounts, set notifications for incoming Tweets.

The rapid-response nature of Twitter makes the platform a natural customer service tool. Companies that use Twitter for service purposes have the chance to build better relationships with customers, create a positive public reputation and draw in new customers.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


 

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