Excellent customer service is something that can differentiate your business and your brand from every other company on the market. It can also help you develop a very loyal following among the individuals in your customer base. Customers who use Twitter as their primary platform for e-commerce frequently connect with brands to either post a highly complimentary review, to call attention to their frustrations, or simply to interact with a representative from a preferred brand.
Research has shown that it’s highly beneficial to respond to requests for customer service on social media quickly. Customers who send tweets to a business and receive a response are statistically prepared to spend between 3% and 20% more on top items which are of average price in the future. That makes it very important for social media managers for companies to provide the best possible customer service through Twitter, so as to encourage greater loyalty and greater sales volume.
Using Twitter’s built-in customer service features
Twitter provides a number of features which allow your brand to offer better support to your customers, and to include all the best practices currently being extended. For starters, you’ll be able to display your support hours clearly, so that people will have an idea when they might hear back from you, and not get frustrated because they’ve contacted you during off hours. Another feature allows for the exchange of direct messaging so that issues which are more complex can be addressed, and so that a customer’s personal details can be directly shared with a brand representative.
You’ll also be able to turn on a Support option, which conveys to all customers that your company’s Twitter account is committed to good customer service and that you’re ready to handle all inquiries or complaints. Finally, there’s also a Twitter feature which allows you to display welcome messages, which can prompt users to type a direct message and to instruct them about what kind of message needs to be shared.
Finding service opportunities through brand mentions and keywords
It can be very helpful to monitor a number of conversations as a means of formulating your customer support approach. When you’re tuned into customers wants, needs, and pain points, it should provide you with a fair understanding of what their issues are, and what kind of support you need to provide.
To do this, you’ll simply have to focus on all tweets to your account, to listen in for any mentions of your brand or your brand’s products, pay attention to keywords which are relevant to your business, and possibly even pay attention to the most common misspellings of all these terms. Needless to say, it’s also very important to watch for and respond to any direct messages which come to you. All of these represent opportunities for providing better customer service and for building stronger relationships with your client base.
Formulate a plan for managing requests
When you do start receiving a large volume of consumer requests, it’s very important that you have a plan in place for managing them, so they don’t get ignored or lost in the shuffle. Some questions may be easily handled with a public response that could have relevance to a vast number of users. Other requests may be of a more sensitive nature and require a personal response which deals with names or specific account information, and these should be handled by direct messaging. Requests which are highly technical in nature, or very specific relative to a given account, may require some kind of external action outside the platform.
The point is, that you should be aware of all these different types of requests and interactions which are possible from users, and to develop an appropriate response for each one of them. A good social media manager, or someone who is on a social media support team, should always have a clear idea about how to approach any given user request so that it can be handled quickly and effectively. Users who get quick responses to their tweets to a brand are much happier and much more satisfied, and are therefore more inclined to make purchases in the future from that brand.
Always choose personalization
When it comes down to a choice of using response templates or choosing personalization as a means of handling customer requests, you should choose personalization every time. Personalization will generally be the faster response in all cases, and it also contributes greatly to the building of stronger relationships with your customer base. People always feel better when they have reached a human person to handle their complaint or issue, and by contrast, they often feel very frustrated when they’re forced to deal with a mechanical entity on the other end of the service call.
There is no substitute for the kind of response which includes humor, emotion, and a genuine human personality on a service call. It’s also a good practice to get into the habit of signing your name to each tweet because that emphasizes the fact that a customer is dealing with a human person, rather than an inanimate object. People simply relate much better to people, and they will always choose a human partner for customer support if given the option.
Speed is crucial
When you’re talking about social media, especially on Twitter, the speed of handling customer service requests is absolutely crucial. A survey conducted by The Social Habit found that 32% of all social media users contacting a brand expected to receive a worthwhile response within 30 minutes, and 42% anticipate a response in less than 60 minutes.
The reason this is even more crucial in social media than it would be in live customer service, or in service through email, is because of the fast-paced nature of social media. Users who have come to expect live feeds and instant social media responses from other parties have their expectations for immediate service raised. A response within 24 hours might be perfectly acceptable via email, but when you’re talking about Twitter or any other social media platform, speed is the name of the game.