How Effective Is Twitter When Handling Customer Feedback?

Customer support is critical if you want your business to thrive. Through stellar customer service, you’ll be able to help address concerns your clients are having, stop smaller issues before they snowball into larger ones, and keep consumers loyal to your brand.


Part of keeping customers satisfied is listening to feedback, and increasingly, brands are using social media — like Twitter — to connect with current and prospective customers alike. Proponents say that this form of digital communication allows them to quickly understand what their customers need, get to the root of potential problems, and even perform important research that can help them refine their products and services.

Is Twitter all it’s cracked up to be, though? Let’s take a look at some of the potential benefits that using Twitter for customer service can bring you, along with some of the ways your business should be using it to achieve the best results possible.


What Makes Twitter a Great Customer Support Tool?

So what makes Twitter a standout support tool compared to the traditional game of email tag or sending your customers through a hellacious automated phone system?


Like so many other things related to the digital economy, a big part of what makes it so attractive is the ease with which it allows customers to reach you and for you to reply in turn. Response time is a huge part of what influences a customer’s perception of your brand, so the sooner you can get to them, the better they’re likely to feel about the experience. Speed is only part of the equation, though, and Twitter provides even more potential benefits:


It Offers Flexibility and Convenience for Customers

There are a great many situations where a customer might be unwilling to go back and forth over email or unable to hang around on the phone for an answer. Using Twitter, they have more flexibility to reach out to you when it’s convenient, read your response, then follow up whenever they have the time. For many people, this flexibility is far more appealing than being on the phone for an hour in the middle of the day, or visiting a store in person.


It Enables Better Tracking and Multitasking

If you’re a small business that isn’t outsourcing customer support duties, then you’re probably dealing with limited resources when it comes to fielding questions and complaints.


Over the phone, you can only deal with one customer at a time and it’s hard to keep a record of those chats. Emails will provide you with a record, but they can get cluttered quickly and are hard to sort through. Twitter helps deal with both of these potential issues.


You can use Twitter’s search functionality to group together multiple customers who are having the same issue and apply hashtags to identify the nature of questions and feedback. This will give you the power to multitask customer concerns, as you’ll be able to refer back to conversations you’ve had almost instantly.


What’s more, if you’re using CRM software and a digital adoption platform to help keep track of the customers who contact you through Twitter and their pertinent information, you can apply that to future digital marketing efforts. You’ll be able to offer customers more of what they want and target your marketing content to better suit their tastes.


It Might Help You Save Money

In some cases, you might save money having a small in-house team handle the majority of your customer service and feedback duties over social media, compared to hiring an external call center.


You’ll have to run the numbers to see if it makes sense for your situation, of course, but if the opportunity exists to save money without decreasing the quality of your service, you should at least look into it.


It Can Help You Improve Your Reputation

Regardless of the channel, customer service interactions are a chance to display what your brand is made of — what makes your business unique. When those interactions play out over social media, however, you gain the added bonus of publicizing your brand’s personality while also showing potential customers how dedicated you are to fixing issues quickly. If your software happens to be glitching, why not take ownership of that fact, like Adobe did in a tweet in 2017, announcing that some of its services were down? It even offered a GIF of cute puppies as a small consolation and proved that customer service can be proactive, not just reactive.


You Can Easily Work Around Its Drawbacks

Are there potential cons when using Twitter for customer service? Absolutely. The short character limit, for instance, makes it difficult to deliver detailed responses with just a single tweet. Thankfully, though, limitations such as this are easy for you to bypass.


In this particular hypothetical, you can use a tweet to direct a customer to a direct message conversation where you can provide more details, and in other instances where you find that Twitter may fall short, the workaround is usually well within your grasp.


Tips for Providing a Great Customer Experience Through Twitter

If you plan on using Twitter to help improve your customer experience, you’ll want to take heed of some of the following pointers so you can offer the best support possible.


Always Respond and Be Prompt About It

Ignoring customers and potential customers is a surefire way to give off the impression that you don’t care. Conversely, responding to questions or feedback, and being quick about it, will let customers know that you value their business and take their needs seriously. If customers ask a question, 52% of them expect a response within an hour; if they make a complaint, that figure rises to 72%.


Be Accurate When Answering Questions

In addition to being quick on the draw, you’ll also want to be accurate. If you can answer a question completely, do so. If you can’t, respond but say that you’ll need to do some more investigating to provide a thorough answer.


Take a Personable Approach

While you might think providing pre-packaged answers to questions will help you be fast, it’s generally a better approach to give a personalized, specific response when you receive a question over Twitter. Address customers by name when possible, remain empathetic, and have your reps sign replies so that customers know who they’re conversing with. Zappos was and still is a prime example of this type of personable social media customer service. It uses both its main Twitter account and its service account to interact with inquisitive customers.


Wrapping Up

If you know how to use it correctly, Twitter will make for an excellent addition to your customer service playbook. It may have its drawbacks, true, but these are generally minor and in most cases, you can work around them with ease.


Be sure to emphasize the customer experience when integrating Twitter or any other social media platform into your customer support strategy, and remember that every response is a way to show off your brand, retain current customers, and bring new ones into the fold.


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