More and more top brands are using Twitter for customer service as part of their social media marketing strategy. While it might seem that using such a public venue to respond to customer complaints and issues is scary, businesses are using Twitter as a platform to show their speed, efficiency, and efficacy when it comes to making customers happy and resolving issues. If you’re unsure of how to approach using Twitter for customer service, here are some of the reasons why you should.

#1 Increases Your Social Media Engagement

Many brands are turning to Twitter for customer service because both customers and businesses are using social more than ever. Encouraging customers to use Twitter for their queries or concerns will also prompt them to engage your business on social media in general, and will show that you take your online business presence very seriously. Too many businesses create Twitter accounts and leave them dormant without understanding that if Twitter is where their customers and potential customers are, they need to be there too!

#2 Allows Your Excellent Customer Service to Be Seen

This might be one of the scariest things about using Twitter for customer service; however, it also gives you the opportunity to let your staff’s trouble-shooting skills take the spotlight. Brands like Hulu utilize Twitter for customer service, and they not only respond to direct @mentions regarding complaints, but I have also seen them respond to Hulu hashtags, showing that they are so committed to social media customer service they search for opportunities to solve problems.

The key to excellent Twitter customer service is to be quick to acknowledge that there’s a problem. You do not have to be able to fix the problem right away, but responding to the customer quickly will make them feel heard and respected. Many customer service failures happen when customers cannot get in contact with brands and they are forced to wait for their issues to even be acknowledged. Having a dedicated Twitter customer service representative can kick-start the resolution process by responding to complaints and problems while technicians are behind-the-scenes fixing things.

#3 Builds Customer Connections

The brands that use social media and use it effectively make sure that their Twitter accounts have a personal, human connection with their customers. LivingSocial’s Twitter support team introduces themselves every time they come on shift, and Confused.com allows their representatives to get in touch with customers using personal employee Twitter accounts to ensure problems are resolved quickly. Giving your social media presence a human touch can help strip away some of the anonymity of the Internet, allowing customers to feel like they are interacting with real people rather than machines.

If you are thinking of implementing a social media customer service strategy, it is important to dedicate the appropriate amount of time and resources to the service, otherwise customers will be left hanging. While some companies like Comcast have scrapped their overseas telephone service for a Twitter-based customer service model, you can definitely take your time to ease into this process and discover what works best for your business.

Sources                                                                                                                                                                                              

Beese, Jennifer. “More Top Brands Are Using Twitter for Customer Service.” Sprout Insights. http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2013/03/twitter-customer-service-brands/. (16 May, 2013).

Gibbs, Jamie. “How to Use Twitter As an Effective Customer Service Platform: a Confused.com Case Study.” Socialnomics.  http://www.socialnomics.net/2013/04/11/how-to-use-twitter-as-an-effective-customer-service-platform-a-confused-com-case-study/. (16 May, 2013).

“Using Twitter for Customer Service – A Good Idea?” Pingler. https://pingler.com/blog/using-twitter-for-customer-service-a-good-idea/. (21 March, 2013).