Twitter might be struggling, but brand customer service on the platform is more popular than ever. In the last 2 years, Tweets to brands and their customer service handles have increased by 250%. Many people also choose Twitter over other social platforms for customer service. In fact, 80% of customer service requests on social media happen on Twitter.
The reasons behind this preference are pretty clear. Twitter allows customers to quickly and easily get the attention of brands. The resulting conversation between a brand and a customer is public, so customers can hold brands accountable while the rest of the Twitterverse watches. For consumers, there’s an opportunity to publicly shame a brand until they get what they want. For brands, there’s an opportunity to boost (or damage) their image to attract (or deter) existing and prospective customers.
Even if a company wants to avoid customer service on Twitter, they don’t really have a choice. The people have spoken, and they want support on Twitter. So how should a brand approach social support on the platform? We had the opportunity to hear the thoughts of Jeff Lesser, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Twitter, when he spoke at Incite Group’s Customer Service Summit. Here are five things we learned about how brands can make the most of their Twitter accounts for customer service.
1. Just Respond!
This is might seem like the most obvious advice of the bunch, but only 22% of Twitter users with purchase intent get a Tweet back from brands. When brands simply respond to tweets, their customers become more likely to recommend the business. Customers’ willingness to buy from the brand also significantly increases.
For example, national pizza delivery brands see a 20% increase in revenue potential per transaction simply by replying to tweets. Make sure to reply quickly as well; customers expect Twitter responses within an hour, and they’ll spend accordingly.
2. Respond Positively…No Matter What
It might be difficult if you encounter negativity from trolls, but your brand is better off being nice. When consumers have a positive customer service interaction on Twitter, they have higher rates of customer satisfaction and are more likely to recommend the brand. This is also the case for those pesky trolls — 69% of people who negatively Tweet a brand will view the business more favorably if they receive a reply. Being personable also saves time in the long run, as friendly responses lead to faster resolutions.
3. Your Brand Needs Two Twitter Handles
A company should separate its Twitter presence into two different accounts — one for marketing and another for customer service. That way, each respective team can amplify their specific message without distracting both themselves and customers. You can even indicate which account provides customer service using Twitter’s support indicator.
If a customer seeks support on the wrong channel, provide them service anyway. However, make sure to reply to their inquiry using the customer service handle to subtly guide them to the right place.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Automate
While the customer service world is divided on chat bots, Twitter is a large proponent of automating some of the moments within a transaction. Brands should work to find the line between convenient and inconvenient automation and act accordingly. For example, human help isn’t required for a customer to receive a shipping update on their package. Direct Message chat bots can make the process faster, easier (and cheaper). Twitter has partnered with several companies to make it easier for brands and their developers to set up automation on the platform.
5. Take Advantage of Twitter’s Tools
Twitter has released a number of features aimed at improving brands’ experience, many of which are in Direct Messages. Social support accounts should take full advantage of Direct Messages, as it allows customers to have private conversations with brands without the 140 character limit.