How can Twitter for customer service benefit your business?

According to research, 30 percent of social media users prefer customer service over the online medium rather than traditional service.

A.M.S Pandian
Updated: Nov 6, 2017 09:31:57 AM UTC

Customer service has changed. Today, customers expect no queues, no waiting lines, and a hassle-free customer service through online platforms.

As a brand, you may have an online presence and you can use one out of a million tips and tricks to entice a customer to buy your product, but it does not end there.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, the cost of acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more than retaining one. Keeping a customer hooked to your product or service can be achieved through right pricing, positioning and after-sales service.

But if you are still delivering offline customer service then you are not effectively reaching your customers. According to research, 30 percent of social media users prefer customer service over the online medium rather than traditional service.

How do you select the best social media for customer service? While you have many choices, micro-blogging website Twitter has surpassed other social media platforms in customer service due to its fast-paced, easy-to-use nature of instant answers.

Take a look:
80 percent social customer service comes from Twitter.
There has been 2.5x increase in tweets to brands and their usernames.
The surge in customer demand for Twitter to reach out to brands is proof that Twitter is the ideal medium for business.

Why you need Twitter for customer service
Twitter has only been around since 2006-07. Does it deliver on customer service? Let’s find out.
1. Twitter Data: It is a goldmine of information. It is helping companies and brands to cut down on physical/ on-field market research to quickly mine valuable information on:
1. Trending products or services your customers seek from you
2. Resolving burning issues
3. Customer tastes, likes, dislikes, and real-time feedback. It is especially beneficial for new product launches in new places, stores, and events.
4. Customer opinion on your products or your competitor's products.

2.Integrates Social Data into existing CRM
Lack of proactive interactions with your customers will drive them away to competitor channels. It is one reason why Apple invested in Apple Support, for customer service and assistance on Twitter.

Opening more customer channels helps drive more conversations and faster responses on Twitter.

3.Brand building through affirmations and privacy protection
Another advantage of being on Twitter is that you can respond to queries publicly through tweets or privately through Direct Message to redress a customer grievance or question.

4.Low Cost
Cost of infrastructure, query resolution and customer satisfaction and market research falls drastically with the use of Twitter.

A call center is six times more expensive than using Twitter. Approximately 95 percent customer complaints can be solved instantly on Twitter. In turn, this can lead to 90 percent customer satisfaction.

Now that it is established that Twitter can indeed deliver on customer service for business, let’s check how you could use it for your own business Twitter account.

How to Use Twitter for customer service
With its popularity rising everyday, Twitter is indeed a crowded place. Breaking through the noise can be difficult. Some ways to use Twitter as an effective customer service tool are:

1. Be proactive: Only having a Twitter handle might not make it easy for the customer. Let customers know how your Twitter account can help.

As per Forrester research, 81 percent of US adults use frequently asked questions (FAQs) or 'Help' on a company’s website to resolve issues by themselves.

Share your existing 'FAQs' and 'Help' pages from your website on your Twitter page. In this way, customers can often get answers to common questions without having to tweet about them. They understand you are perceptive about their problems.

2. Sort issues but be positive: Issues can turn ugly and also create a negative brand image. See how some of the best brands manage queries on Twitter.

3. Host events and tie to your brand
Twitter chats, live events, giveaways, contests are some ways to keep your customer interested in what you have to say. If you wish to create some great memories for your customers to cherish try:

• Create a hashtag for your event
• Tweet at ideal times, i.e. when users are most likely to be on Twitter (between noon and 1 pm in every time zone is the go-to time, i.e. usual lunch time)
• Showcase Twitter walls
• Promote your event posts from other social media platforms on Twitter to amplify your brand message.

4.Monitor mentions:
This is crucial to promote your brand and to proactively tackle issues.

Some tools to use.
Mentionapp: If you use hastags quite often in your tweets, Mentionapp, a free app is apt for you. It navigates conversations, checks for mentions and suggests connections between users.
TweetDeck: This free app is from Twitter and helps manage multiple feeds even while allowing retweeting, posting, scheduling and shortening links.
Mention: Uses keywords to track mentions and sentiment. This free app also gives data on reach, influencer search and shares.
Storify: With free signup, Storify lets you create stories using your tweets or blogpost and chats to make it interactive and exciting.

Brands are constantly innovating to make it engaging and fun to ensure a high recall value.

Brands already using Twitter for customer service
Brands realise the effectiveness of being actively engaged on Twitter and hence are prompt to cash in on every opportunity.

Take the case of the solar eclipse. The rare solar eclipse seen once in 100 years the US coast on August 21, 2017, saw some fun and interesting advertisements.


Dunkin' Donuts went with a play of words, using 'Moonchkin' instead of Munchkins.
Image Source: Dunkin Donuts

Twitter_smImage Source
Some of the most prominent brands with effective customer service on Twitter are Jet Blue Airways, LinkedIn, and even MIT.

For anyone looking to build a reliable and credible online customer service, Twitter is an excellent place to begin. The diverse nature of brands using Twitter for customer service only underlines the fact.

Closing Thoughts
If you’re looking to instantly create an impact through an easy interface, quick feedback, and effective brand building, then you must try Twitter for your brand.

There are many social networks besides Twitter, like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. You can always diversify and check for the best fit for your business once you have mastered Twitter as a useful customer service tool.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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