Twitter as a Customer Support Channel

By business.com editorial staff,
business.com writer
| Updated
Mar 18, 2020
Image Credit: Zephyr18 / Getty Images

Consider using this social media service to connect with your customers.

  • Twitter is a great tool for brands looking to connect with customers and provide an additional channel for customer support.
  • It's free to use and provides an easy way to communicate directly with customers and solve their problems as quickly as possible.
  • Twitter can also be a great way to set your brand apart and showcase your values as a business that cares about the needs of its consumers.

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Brands that use Twitter for customer support

Many reputable businesses are using Twitter to handle their customer services. Its direct-to-consumer capabilities are unparalleled and influential brands are taking advantage of the platform's versatility. Here are a few examples. 

Warby Parker 

Eyeglass brand Warby Parker is well known for its customer services. It has a Twitter handle, @WarbyParkerHelp, that is specifically dedicated to responding to customer issues. If you scroll through the feed, you'll find retweets from hundreds of real people testifying to the superb customer service abilities of the brand. 

Providing real client testimonials is a smart and innovative way to leverage a Twitter feed. Everyone can relate to the annoyance of being put on hold by a customer service department for hours. Warby Parker has managed to eliminate this dread by utilizing its satisfied customer base. The message is especially powerful on Twitter because you can click on a profile and see that it's a real person, not an imaginary client fabricated for marketing purposes. 

Zappos 

Online footwear giant Zappos is another popular retailer that uses Twitter to communicate with customers. It's known for responding to compliments and fielding any questions users may have. Its responses are always quick, helpful and tailored to directly respond to the original tweet (opposed to an automated response). 

This approach allows the company to seem more human in its interaction with customers. No one wants to feel like they're expressing their concerns to a robot, and Twitter is an amazing tool for bridging the gap between corporation and consumer. Modern shoppers are more brand-conscious than ever, and establishing yourself as a company that cares about people is a good technique to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. 

Adobe 

Design software company Adobe is another great example of a business that uses Twitter to help customers. Users can tweet specific questions about using the software and can expect a detailed response that provides a solution directly from the AdobeXD Twitter

Having trouble editing an image in Photoshop? Rather than spending hours trying to figure it out for yourself on YouTube, you can tweet at Adobe with your issues and they will respond promptly. 

Customers rarely take the time to call customer service with these types of issues. It's a smart move by Adobe because it prevents users from getting frustrated with the software and either abandoning it or switching to a simpler competitor. It also helps build brand loyalty if customers feel that you understand their problems and are willing to take the time to help. 

Overall, Twitter is an amazing customer support tool that can save you hours of fielding phone calls or answering questions via email. 

 

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff
The purpose of our community is to connect small business owners with experienced industry experts who can address their questions, offer direction, and share best practices. We are always looking for fresh perspectives to join our contributor program. If you're an expert working in your field – whether as an employee, entrepreneur, or consultant – we'd love to help you share your voice with our readers and the business.com community. We work hard to only publish high-quality and relevant content to our small business audience. To help us ensure you are the right fit, we ask that you take the time to complete a short application: https://www.business.com/contributor/apply/ We can't wait to hear what you have to say!
Like the article? Sign up for more great content.Join our communityAlready a member? Sign in.