Using Twitter for Customer Service

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Customer Service, which sometimes has a negative connotation, if done correctly, can be amazing. Twitter is by far the best tool available right now for customer service because it’s instant and it’s free.

With the connectivity made possible by social media, businesses have found a novel way to engage their customers, help them solve their problems, and build positive attitudes for their brands. Understanding how Twitter can help customer relations to evolve can have a tremendous impact on lowering costs and improving brand image.
 
Twitter is truly remarkable. It has helped businesses to become global and it has brought business owners in touch with their users in a way that nobody could have imagined.

The following will help maximize the impact of Twitter for your business:

Understanding why Twitter is an ideal customer service platform
Let’s discuss some of the major elements of good customer service and how they relate to Twitter:

  • Problem resolution: The Customer Service’s main goal is to help customers solve their problems. Although phone conversations might help to solve problems, being on hold does not. It wastes the customer’s time.

    Twitter is a lightning-fast platform that can help sift through and solve problems quickly. If the customer’s problem is small, a single tweet may be sufficient. If the problem is more complicated, a more involved discussion might have to happen with the customer.
     

  • Positive brand image: Great customer service gets noticed talked about, and this can generate more sales and more attention. Twitter is one of the most viral platforms around, which can make satisfied customer into a huge deal.
     
  • Staff involvement: If your business team does not buy into the notion of helping the customer, they are not going to give top-notch help. Not only is Twitter a more exciting platform than phone or email but it also gives staff a better idea of the impact that they have on others.
     
  • Cost reduction: Customer service via Twitter usually takes less time and a lot less money than a dedicated call center. With Twitter, the user has to be brief and to the point by design (140-character limit), which also reduces the time needed to solve each problem.

Tracking the entire conversation around your brand
Once you understand how Twitter connects to customer service, the next logical step would be to track conversations. What are people saying about your brand? Have people understood your message? What about the good things that they say about your new feature? Track all the possible keywords that are related to your brand, like the names of your key features or any nickname your ompany may have.

Making customers aware of your business presence
Tracking a conversation gives you an understanding of your brand’s reputation and standing in social media and elsewhere; however, it is a very passive approach. Effective customer service is active. To get started, make your Twitter presence known. Ask customers to follow you on Twitter, place a button on your website in a prominent place, and advertise that you are attempting to engage your customers in problem solving through social media. Customer service on Twitter won’t work if you don’t make your presence known.

Respond quickly and transparently
The key to effective customer service is the quality and speed of your response. When you find someone on your site complaining about an issue, ask them if they would like you to help. Ask them if they’d like you to intervene and provide them with all of the information that they need.

If a problem is sensitive, the customer is very upset, or you want to get in contact with a customer quickly, either try to get a direct message to them or give them an instantaneous way to contact you, like a special email address or even a personal phone number. Make them understand that you want to help them and stay with them at every step of the way until the problem is solved.

Be involved in the conversations
Twitter is a conversational platform, and people want to talk to people, so make the effort to chat with them as well. Twitter gives you an opportunity to build an image and identity for your brand, so chatting with customers about why you believe in the brand so much, what cool things the company has done, or retweeting a success story gives people many reasons to follow what you say.

Be authentic
When you are conducting customer service and customer relationship management, you need to be honest. It is very simple for your customers to research whether you are telling the truth. And if you aren’t, they will no longer be loyal and will express their anger.

In spite of this, the benefits to your brand and to your customers from using Twitter as a customer service platform are huge. Comcast, Dell, Southwest Airlines, Ford, Starbucks, and many more have been successful in promoting a positive brand image and solving customer’s problems with less cost and time than phone or email service. Twitter and social media are helping to redefine the typical approach to customer service.

Please visit us at CompuKol Communications to learn more about how you can leverage social media technologies, such as Twitter, to promote your business.

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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.

Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.

Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

 

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