Twitter has evolved from a way to send quick messages between friends and peers to becoming an essential part of customer service and support initiatives for companies large and small.
This was bound to happen eventually – with over 288 million monthly users and over 500 million tweets sent each day, Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world. So it was only a matter of time that customers would find companies on Twitter and tweet at them for help, to get support, or to have their questions answered. And the trend has grown quickly. How quickly? In 2014, Co-Founder of Stratus Contact Solutions Dennis Stoutenburgh said that “a year ago, when [a consumer] got a social media response from a brand on a customer care issue, they were surprised. We’re getting to the point now that if companies don’t respond, they will have a black mark against them.”
In less than a year it went from an exciting luxury to an expectation in the eyes of the consumer – and that quote is now a year old. More recently, Simply Measured found that in in quarter three of 2014 there was an 83% rise in engagement from customers to brands on Twitter from the past year.
But for all the rise and excitement in using Twitter for customer service, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions and uncertainties about how to most effectively use this platform to deliver quality service. A 2011 study revealing that 70% of customer service complaints made on Twitter will go unanswered shows that, for all the ways Twitter can be useful in customer service experiences, there is still a lot of work left to figure out.
For all the work left to do though, there is plenty to go off of and learn from. Here are some quick tips on successful customer service practices on social media:
- Be Responsive: One of the benefits of using Twitter is that the consumer has quick access to the application and can write a message quickly from anywhere. When a customer does write a tweet, the best strategy is to acknowledge the tweet as soon as someone is able to begin providing support. Generally, the average response time to a customer service-related tweet is 5.1 hours. Some of the best companies respond within an hour, but the important thing is to be available and respond as soon as possible.
- Provide Quality Answers: Being fast on the reply is good, but making sure that the customer isn’t left hanging is even more critical. Companies that execute exceptional social media customer service provide complete answers and make sure that all issues on the customers end are mitigated.
- Don’t be a Robot: Social media is exciting primarily for the social aspect, so incorporating that into a customer service strategy helps tremendously. Companies will leave a lasting impression on social media, and it can be a great value if that impression is a positive an honest one. Don’t waste time making a social presence sound one-dimensional, and always be up front and personable on social media to ensure customers will remember you.
- Say Thank You: Twitter isn’t a platform dedicated solely for consumer complaints. Conversations about companies and brands will take place daily, and there will be plenty of positive ones going on as well as negative ones. Just as the negative ones can be turned into positive customer experiences, it’s also important to recognize the customers who speak highly of your company and thank them for their kind words. Not only will it leave a positive, lasting impression, but customers are more likely to remain loyal and repeat business with companies and brands who recognize them on social media.
Social media is not going anyway anytime soon, and that can be a good thing - if your organization is using it to drive customer service. A recent blog post from us mentions how important showing customers appreciation on Twitter can be. To learn even more about this growing trend, check back for more customer service posts related to social media in the future, or click below to chat with us today.