Thanks to Twitter’s reach and speed, the platform has become an important channel for customer service. Almost 18 million people in the UK and more than a quarter of companies now use Twitter. Twitter’s own analysis shows that the number of tweets to major brands has grown 2.5 times in the past two years.
Why Twitter for customer service?
Twitter estimates that answering a tweet is 80% cheaper than answering a phone call. However, the volume of tweets is many times higher, and as a company you have to prepare for that; a good knowledge base and experienced employees are a must.
If properly set up, helping customers via Twitter increases customer engagement. Examples of excellent (or quirky) service can be noticed and shared widely. This can significantly improve a company’s reputation.
Twitter also offers the opportunity for a proactive web-based strategy: chiming in on relevant conversations and providing useful information, even if the conversation isn’t directly aimed at the company.
For many companies, posts on Twitter are the first sign that there is a potential problem. For example when something doesn’t work properly. There is a good chance that the customer will make a public complaint on Twitter. This gives companies the opportunity to reassure customers and give them an indication of when the problem will be resolved. By doing so, the company can significantly reduce the risk of negative publicity.
Voice of the Customer
While not as rigorous as real ‘Voice of the Customer’ programs, Twitter provides insight into what consumers want and expect from you. If many of them ask for a particular product, it’s worth considering developing this and making the product available. You can also use Twitter to see how your brand is perceived by consumers. Compared to competitors, for instance.
The sheer volume of tweets and the fact that they come in 24/7 and customers expect a quick response makes managing customer service via Twitter difficult. Especially since not replying to a tweet could quickly escalate into a serious customer service crisis.
Reply to messages via Twitter
While Twitter is increasingly used by social customer service companies, most companies still struggle to do it efficiently and effectively. The 2015 Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience survey found that of the 100 UK brands present on the platform, only 34% were able to correctly answer a simple customer service query posted on their Twitter account. Responses also took a very long time; a few hours instead of the 30 minutes expected by the consumer.
To provide effective social customer service through Twitter, you will need to purchase a social media management tool that supports Twitter. Also, you’ll need to have enough employees to answer the messages. Not only during the day but in the evening and on weekends as well.
Keep in mind, customers expect to receive fast, effective, and professional answers to their questions. If the answer takes too long, it will affect the image of your company. This often means that you should appoint an employee who specifically deals with Twitter questions. If this employee is overwhelmed by the flood of messages, it is time to hire additional people.
But there is an easier way. You can outsource your Twitter customer service to us.