Even though Instagram and Facebook are the most pressing networks for marketers currently, Twitter remains one of the top avenues for customer service. Why is Twitter so effective for customer service? Well, for starters, consider that customer service on Twitter is short and to the point. Their character limit stops people from mincing words. Basically, Twitter encourages you to get to the root of any potential issues immediately. In addition, anything that happens on Twitter is open for the world to see. What this means is that there is a microscope on brands as how they treat inquiries is totally front-facing.
To help your business maintain a happy face and keep customers loyal, here are some tips for providing top Twitter customer service.
Set Up a Customer Service Dashboard
If you are going to randomly and hectically reply to mentions and interactions with customers, you are going to have a challenging time. For example, say a couple of customers put your brand on blast. Who is going to respond to them? Who have you already spoken to? How do you know you have @’d them back and who you have not? This is exactly why a Twitter dashboard is a lifesaver. With a Twitter dashboard, you can track individual interactions with customers in real-time. This means that not only does no mention go unnoticed, but you also have a bird’s-eye view of your Twitter customer service in one place.
Don’t Ignore Customer Feedback
Even though some customers may show you some love on Twitter, you should expect to spend more time addressing questions and concerns. Doing this requires dealing with criticism. How you respond to criticism has a massive impact as to whether you are keeping or losing that customer for good. Whilst there may be trolls out there, brands need to give negative feedback their full attention. Your responses both reflect on your company and determine whether or not your customer sticks around. The takeaway with this point is that brands should not shy away from call-outs or negative feedback when it happens. Timely responses and empathy are your best bet for keeping people around despite their frustrations.
Know When to Stay on Twitter or Go Off-Platform
The beauty of Twitter customer service is that its short and to the point. Although, sometimes Twitter may be the best place to start a customer service inquiry rather than having a full-blown conversation. On one hand, brands should be striving to keep answers simple and remain on Twitter for the sake of convenience. On the other hand, some issues may just get a bit too complex and 280 characters just will not cut it. So, taking the conversation to the direct message is a smart move.
This gives you up to 10,000 characters to respond to issues privately. However, you may need to go even more in depth or pass off the concern to someone else. In this case, asking for someone’s email via DM is acceptable. Just be sure anything you pass off via email is prioritised and not left sitting. Taking people off Twitter is fine, but not when their customer service journey feels like a wild goose chase. Keep the concerns moving and get to the bottom of the problem.
Mind your Customer’s Privacy
Even if your Tweets are only meant for your customers’ eyes , they are still out there for the world to see. This is great news for customers who wish to hold brands accountable. That being said, this removes the sense of privacy given by phone or email support. As with the last tip, it is crucial to know when to go beyond tweets and dealing with private information is exactly the kind of situation we are talking about.
Here are some pieces of information you should only ask for via DM:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Billing information
- Specific items they’ve purchased from you
(Remember to always be sensitive to customers’ personal information and assure them you are authorised to handle these types of details as early as possible).
Sign (or Initial) Your Tweets
If you have multiple employees handling your Twitter customer service, you need a way to track who is responding to each tweet. The benefits of signing your tweets are two-fold. Doing so creates a sense of accountability and allows you to track interactions between your team and your customers. In addition, it gives your Twitter customer service efforts a more human vibe. Whether it is your employee’ name or initials, a simple signature serves as a personal touch.
Prioritise Speedy Returns
According to Twitter’s own statistics, 60% of users expect a response within an hour of reaching out to a business. If you compare that to the expected twelve hour response time by email, it is clear that social customers expect speedy service. Whilst you may not be able to respond to each and every question at a moments notice, speed counts. Quick responses signal that you are a brand that listens to customers and values them.
Track your Brand Mentions
If you do not have a streamlined way to monitoring your brand mentions, providing customer service becomes a tough battle. The sooner you know that somebody has given you a shout out, the faster you can respond. For most businesses, monitoring brand mentions on Twitter starts with checking their notifications. However, Twitter notifications only offer you a partial picture of your Twitter presence.
When in Doubt, be Human
Companies today comprehend that you cannot put customer service on autopilot. Whilst you may be tempted to take a copy and paste approach to your Twitter customer service, think again. People may be willing to deal with automated systems on the phone, however, not on social media. The appeal of turning to Twitter rather than traditional customer service avenues is that you can get quicker responses from people.
Twitter is the perfect platform for getting personal with your support. There is no expectation to be formal, meanwhile the limited character count encourages conversation. Whilst you wish to maintain some sense of professionalism, do not fear to let your sense of humour shine through if it is in line with your brand’s voice.
Go Above and Beyond
Finally, don’t forget that customer service is far more than just answering questions or dealing with problems. The era we live in has sky-high customer expectations and brand loyalty is fierce. All brands should strive to go above and beyond to help customers whilst also reminding them just how much they matter. In order words, do not be scared to shout people out “just because”. If someone posts a picture of your brand or product, show them love and retweet it. Being attentive and authentic with your customers can be strong marketing firepower if you are consistent.
There you have it, nine tips to provide top twitter customer service for your strategy. Get started: Set up a Twitter Dashboard, Remember not to ignore customer feedback, be aware of when to go on Twitter, mind your customer’s privacy, sign your tweets, prioritise speedy returns, track your brand mentions, be human and finally go above and beyond. Best of luck!