140 characters. When it comes to Twitter, your message starts at zero and ends there. You can write as many messages as you want, but 140 has always been the cutoff. For something like social media customer support (which Twitter has rapidly become popular for) that can make things difficult, and companies that hire for social media customer support would need to keep a candidate’s ability to be concise in mind. But Twitter has recently changed all that, opening up the floodgates to limitless possibilities with messages. Literally.
One Customer Service Message, (Almost) as Long as You Like, to Whomever You Like
On August 12, Twitter rolled out one of its latest features – the ability to send messages without the 140 character limit. The rollout came at a small catch – stand, “general population” Twitter feeds and messages would still be limited, but Direct Messages (DM) between users would have the 140 limit removed. There is still some form of a limit – the character count is now at 10,000 characters – but to give you a frame of reference for how long that is, this blog post is about 3,400 characters, spaces included. In other words, there’s more than enough room to communicate what needs to be said.
That’s not all. Previously, Twitter had a rule with sending DMs – you and the person you wanted to DM had to be following each other. That feature created a potential extra step in customer service by requiring the company to publicly ask the customer to “follow them back” in order to move the conversation to a private exchange, which was crucial if personal information had to be shared such as account numbers or addresses. This is no longer the case, and you can now send DMs to whomever you like, without having them follow you back.
Although it doesn’t sound like much, this update changes a lot for customer service. Firstly, it means that a customer won’t have to go through multiple messages at once during a service conversation on Twitter, nor will they have to spend time writing out multiple messages to adequately explain their issue. Furthermore, it also means that communication becomes slightly easier, alleviating the burden your staff had to face with limited character counts. Lastly, because following each other is no longer a requirement for DMs, a customer won’t have to do as much “heavy lifting” in order to move the support issue forward.
More Message Space for Social Media Customer Support, Same Hiring Goals
Ultimately, how does this influence contact center hiring for Twitter support? For starters, although there is an emphasis on making sure your social media customer support specialists can be concise, a lot of that pressure is now alleviated. You should still evaluate a job candidate's written communication ability as well as their decision making process in a written, interactive format to make sure they are driving the right customer experience. Keep in mind that Twitter is a platform that can be used on mobile and desktop, and that mobile users won’t want to scroll through messages that are longer than necessary. Quick, insightful, informative messages is the name of the game, whether or not your support team is restricted to 140 characters.
Contact us for more information, or download our whitepaper below on learning how to develop a quality of hire report card so that you can build an outline for your own A+ social media support candidates.