It doesn’t matter what you sell, software, shoes or food, twitter is the future for customer service. Traditionally, customer service has been focused around call centres, and while there are excellent examples of telephone based customer service, it is fair to say many customers hang on the phone too long and the response is generally impersonal.
So how can a 140-character twitter response compare to speaking to a human on the phone?
For many people it is hard to take an hour out of the day to hang on the phone to a call centre, but with twitter, you can pick up your phone at any time and tweet a company with your problem. Most large companies now have 24-hour customer service available on twitter. Twitter happens in real time, and your problem can be solved even when you don’t have your phone in your hand. According to a survey carried out by Twitter, 60% of consumers expect brands to reply to them within an hour, which leaves customers more satisfied.
Over 95% of consumers say they’re influenced about what other people say about companies on social media. A brand’s response on twitter is visible to everyone, which can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending on how you handle each tweet that comes to your company. When people can see your company has offered great customer service to someone on the platform, this rubs off on other users, and thus your company continues to build a positive customer service reputation. The same goes for bad customer service, everyone can see if the customer service has been lacking, leaving those who see it with a bad impression of the brand. So it’s safe to say twitter keeps customer service teams on their toes. Compared to a call centre, twitter is 1/6 more cost effective for companies, and one twitter handle can represent several products under one brand umbrella.
Twitter is reactive, and everything happens in real time. People feel more connected to a brand that is communicating with them throughout their day. Twitter Customer service teams can create a tone for the brand, allowing humour and a friendly atmosphere between them and the customer. Twitter also allows companies to take ownership of complaints, if customer service notices someone complaining about their brand, they can intervene and take control of the conversation, which stops complaints getting out of control.
With all of these possibilities on twitter to communicate directly with customers, can brands really afford to miss out on these potential benefits? I don’t think so.
Here are some great examples of Twitter customer service: