By Ted Rubin, Social Media Marketing Manager, Social2B



 

Traditional customer service certainly gets its share of bad-mouthing:  endless pre-categorized “service” menu selections followed by long wait times to speak with a customer representative, plus the constant risk of getting disconnected, or the call dropping in the middle of the wait.

Social media is now giving customers an interesting alternative to telephone customer service and the lines at the in-store returns desks.  Many who are getting shunned by traditional customer service are now getting satisfaction through …Twitter.

 

Using Twitter as a customer service tool actually makes a lot of sense – for your customers and for your brand:

 

VISIBILITY

 

For your customer: The direct yet very public nature of tweets gives your customers a way to “keep you in line” and make you pay attention.  One customer tweet including a wisely-placed hashtag (#) and your brand name can make quite a statement.   A customer complaint over Twitter can spread like wildfire.

For your brand: No matter whether the customer tweets are positive or negative about your brand, you have the chance to show your current and potential customers the quality of your customer service.  Good or bad, your customer service is now visible to thousands, so make it GREAT.

 

NOVELTY

 

For your customer: There is still a sense of novelty to using Twitter as a Customer Service tool.  Interacting with a brand over Twitter is an interesting story to share with their networks to create a few minutes of mini-celebrity for your customer.

For your brand: Your customer service department members can enjoy knowing this is a fairly new way of working with customers.   Let your business’ customer service be “cutting edge” and that enthusiasm will go far with your customers!

 

SPEED

 

For your customer: A Tweet is practically instantaneous.  Compare that to other methods of customer service!The response time to a customer service related tweet tells an important story about your brand, and your customers ARE paying attention.

For your brand: You have a chance to notice, respond to, and resolve customer issues within minutes.  Issue turnaround time speaks volumes for brand, and Twitter gives you a place to showcase your responsiveness.   And remember, your great customer service immediately becomes positive PR — all it takes for your customers to spread the word are a few tweets to their network, and the re-tweets follow from there!