Twitter is an essential tool for customer service, and the two newest features added by the microblogging platform have pushed its potential in this direction even further. Some of the aspects that make it an ideal platform for interacting with customers are the character limit and the promptness in responding.
Since they are limited to 140 characters per tweet, it may seem like users are restrained from speaking at large about the issues they have run into while using a company’s product or service. This should actually be regarded as a strong point, as customers are determined to be more concise and to pinpoint the problem with great precision. In turn, this helps the ones responsible with customer service to be more efficient at solving the reported issues.
Responsiveness is yet another factor that could determine customers to appreciate your brand even more. As a matter of fact, 60% of Twitter users expect to get an answer to their inquiry within an hour, but on average, companies take 1 hour and 24 minutes to respond. The difference may seem significant, but this is still a lot less than what e-mail customer support takes. That being said, you should strive to respond in less than an hour. Depending on how long it takes for customers to have their questions answered, they may feel positive or negative towards the brand.
O2, the British mobile carrier, took real-time customer service to the extreme, by launching the first #TweetServe back in December, 2013. Using a series of hashtags, customers can find out information pertaining to their account, without having to call Customer Service. The 9 hashtags that can be sent via DM to the company’s account upon following it and tweeting #TweetServe are:
- #data, #text or #minutes
- #ios, #android or #windows
- #offers or #handsets
Opting out of the service can be done by using the #stop hashtag anytime.
Taking a personal approach can also help customers feel catered for. Instruct your customer service representatives to include the Twitter user’s handle in their reply. When getting a personalized answer, 77% of consumers are more likely to recommend the brand to their friends. An impersonal customer service interaction, on the other hand, determines 66% of consumers to be reluctant about recommending the brand.
The two new features introduced by Twitter in February have facilitated Direct Messaging, on one hand, and have provided a means for providing feedback, on the other hand. In the process of requesting customer service there comes a time when people need to provide some personal information in order to expedite things, and this is typically achieved using Direct Messages. If until now customers had to go back to the company’s profile to select this feature, they can now access it straight from the tweets, assuming that the company has provided a deep link to DM.
( Source: https://blog.twitter.com/2016/making-customer-service-even-better-on-twitter)
In what concerns Customer Feedback, as the second new feature is called, companies using Twitter for Business have two industry standard question formats at their disposal, namely Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Using one of these tools, consumers can appreciate the quality of the customer service, and can provide feedback regarding the interaction with the CS representative.
Still aren’t convinced of what Twitter can do for you in terms of customer service? Here are some statistics and tips that certify the social network’s potential:
- Customer service interactions are accelerating on Twitter; the company reports a 2.5x increase in such conversations in the past two years.
- Twitter is the synonym of “Fast”! Therefore, you’d better be fast! Approximately 50% of your audience expects a response in less than an hour.
- Know when to make it private. Given Twitter’s 140 character limit, it’s best to take things offline when a question or complaint escalates. In that sense, your customer service representatives should have clear specifications on when and why they should carry on a conversation via telephone, email or direct message and take it out of the public social media sphere.
- 43% of customers consider a direct response to their question on a social media site as most important, and 31% consider the social platform to provide direct access to company representatives.
Michael Kamleitner is CEO & Product Manager at Swat.io, a Social Media Management solution that’s helping companies to improve their customer support & content management on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and others. Swat.io is currently used by companies such as 3Österreich, Hitradio Ö3, ÖBB, Focus Online and Burda Intermedia.