Customer support has undergone a massive change of late. People no longer dial a toll-free number; they take to Twitter to resolve their questions or problems quickly. Here is why your business should start using Twitter as a customer support channel.
Most customer service channels consist of telephone or email, and often the experience, especially over the phone, is not particularly user friendly. Reflecting on your past personal experiences with other companies' customer service departments, chances are that you have had to wait on hold for ages to be connected to the correct person or wait for days for an email response. With the proliferation of Twitter though, customer service is experiencing a revolution.
Twitter provides a new dimension to customer service; it allows companies to reduce customer wait times and also the expensive costs associated with a call center. At the same time, it helps businesses build a reputable brand image (if it's used correctly).
Why Twitter shines as a support tool
Unlike traditional channels, i.e., telephone, Twitter users don't expect an immediate reply. A delay of a couple of hours is acceptable. That's not to say, however, that you can't send immediate support responses as soon as you receive them.
Another benefit of using Twitter as a customer service channel is that any support you give is in the public domain, which can have a positive effect on your company's public perception – especially if you do a good job.
Solve customer problems quickly
Try to be as prompt as possible when responding to customers. Our guidance to the support staff in our company is to first inform the customer that our team has received the message and we are looking into it (if it's not possible to respond with the correct answer immediately).
If the answer cannot be provided on Twitter as it is too complex, then we give the customer details on how to contact us on or direct them to a support document on our website.
Save on costs
Having your customer service reps use Twitter to respond to customer inquiries is less expensive than hiring a call center. Using Twitter's response function is a smart idea, because all exchanges are public and thus are indexed. Customers seeking information might find the answer to their question on your Twitter profile page and therefore might not need to contact you at all.
Another benefit is that you increase your efficiency in responding to customer questions. Because Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters, customers need to be concise and precise in their demands. More precise information, in turn, can help you meet demand more quickly.
Track conversations and improve customer support
To provide impeccable customer service on Twitter, track all of the conversations you have with customers as well as other mentions about your brand. Keep information such as the customer's name, username, product name and comments so you get an idea of what people think of your business and can monitor any trends.
Monitoring tools exist to help you with this task, and most alert you by email when information about your business or products is published online. By tracking trends, you can refine your customer support by fine-tuning it to increase overall customer satisfaction.
Be available to answer queries
If you decide to utilize Twitter for customer support, make sure your team is available to respond to customer tweets. Availability is a key element on Twitter. If you set up an account and then don't use it, then the public perception will definitely be a negative one.
Use Twitter to build brand reputation
In addition to providing a powerful platform for customer support, Twitter allows you to build your online reputation. It can shorten your response time, resolve issues intelligently, build a more personal relationship with your followers and reach more potential customers.