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Social media has changed customer service forever and buyers are benefiting most.
But this shift makes the jobs of customer service teams’ harder. They now face the daily challenge of managing social media customer service and meeting ever-growing customer expectations.
And social media offers the perfect playground for customer service.
Why is that the case? Because of its interactivity, simplicity, and transparency.
Since social media channels are open platforms for the world to see, all inquiries and how brands’ approach them are kept in the spotlight. This makes it easy to see whether or not companies are putting their customers first, no matter what.
These three features of social media, interactivity simplicity and transparency, contribute to the fast pace of resolving requests and any issues that may arise. Statistically, the most social media customer service happens on Twitter.
Although Facebook (along with Instagram) is paramount among social media channels, Twitter is still the first and most important news feed. Social media users always jump on it when there’s trending news and they need a quick update.
The same is with customer service.
This makes a Twitter customer service strategy vital for all businesses that want to keep their customers happy and prevent them from bouncing to competitors.
And advantages of Twitter are clear:
- There’s a character limit that makes requests concise and concrete. Users get right to the point with their problem. No excess tittle-tattle.
- Unique hashtags make tweets searchable, so it’s easy to find the thread you’re looking for.
- Simplicity - tweeting brands is as effortless as it gets.
Using Twitter for customer service makes your customers' life easy. After all, they won’t need to dig into your website anymore to find the relevant information they want or a contact form in order to get in touch with the right department.
The entire process is easy-breezy, user identification is automated and the rules are clear - what else could your customers need?
To help you start, I’ve compiled some useful tips for your next Twitter customer service strategy.
Btw: Luxury airlines take social care seriously. See how they do it.
1. A Special Customer Service Twitter Account
Let’s take a look at Amazon, a great example of Twitter customer service:
Amazon created a separate Twitter customer service page to keep their communication well organized, relevant to user intent and their method of communication. The same approach has been taken by Emirates Airlines:
The next example comes from LiveChat that also released a customer service profile on Twitter lately.
PS: So feel free to get in touch with us in case you have any technical issues.
No matter the size of your business, if you want to have efficient customer service on Twitter, a dedicated account for customer service is a lifesaver.
The best option is to START SMALL. When you’re still a small-to-medium size organization, the number of your support tickets is still manageable.
So it’s easier to figure everything out and polish up your strategy along the way.
But sometimes it’s already too late for that.
When your company is already an established organization and your number of incoming customers requests is crushing, getting started might be tough. If that’s the case you’ll need to sort out the whole process before you even begin.
Once you launch your Twitter help service, there won’t be any time left for strategic thinking because of all the hustle.
Delegate one or two customer service representatives to manage Twitter in shifts - so it’s never left without your careful eye and reply really quick. After all, fast customer service on Twitter pays out:
Consider tagging tweets with unique hashtags so that they are clearly categorized, easy to find and well-organized.
Make sure to teach your users to use these hashtags consistently. Make them realize inquiries get answered and issues resolved faster when they cooperate.
Do you have a high volume of Tweets coming in? Then, set up a workflow so your team will be ready to respond with speed and efficiency.
2. Measure Your Impact With Social Media Analytics
With Twitter customer service it’s better to watch social media metrics that apply to your profile and ensure it all won’t spill out. For this reason, take advantage of social media analytics such as Sotrender to keep an eye on your reach and engagement.
And Sotrender lets you track:
1. Follower growth rate.
2. User Interactions.
3. Content - providing you a list of your top performing posts over a given period of time.
4. Messages - the response rate and response time.
5. Word clouds to evaluate the type of requests that dominate your profile.
Apart from these metrics, analyze sentiment regularly and check-up on the moods and approaches among your followers towards your brand. Sentiment analysis has become a big thing among social marketers in 2018 because it lets you add a broader context to all these numbers and understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of it all.
3. Give negative feedback your full attention
When starting a new customer service Twitter page, you have to expect everything and be sure of nothing. Things can happen. Your reps will probably face the full range of human emotion, from love to hatred.
But no matter what you get, you better learn how to manage the criticism. So make sure your team is ready for it.
Teach them to deal with negative feedback and always manage it first. Never leave users without a reply when there are complaints. With negative emotions, people tend to react pretty fast and you really don’t want such moods to spread across social media.
Statistics say that behind a single complaining user, there are about six people who feel exactly the same. They just don’t say anything.
But when someone raises a problem, others will join in if you don’t address it before it breaks out of its shell.
So what conclusions can we draw here?
Don’t shy away from the negative feedback when you see it. Timely reactions, pleading guilty, and expressing empathy are your best tactics for keeping people around despite their bad moods.
4. Go Behind the Curtains With More Complex Stuff
Twitter customer service should be quick, concise and short. However, not all issues are created equal. So when some customer service issues get complex and don’t fit into the character limit, don’t fix them on social media, but go off the platform.
I certainly understand how a damaged shipment can be upsetting. The damage claim can be initiated online and all claim results are handled with the shipper only. The following link has details of a damage claim process:https://t.co/lK5SBKSkEs
— UPS Customer Support (@UPSHelp) October 19, 2018
In such cases, just start the process on Twitter, thank them for reaching out and submitting the issue. Then you have two options:
1. Pass a ticket to a customer representative that can handle it through an internal tasks management tool such as Zendesk, Intercom or LiveChat. But make sure this representative will keep things moving - to avoid frustrations.
2. Handle a query via Direct Message on Twitter - each direct message is limited to 1000 characters.
Which one is better? That decision depends on you and the nature of the trouble you’re dealing with. Task management tools are useful when there are other people and teams involved with the issue - and when only your assistance is needed, but the reply is getting lengthy, then jump on direct messages within the platform.
4. Serve Customer Service But Be Mindful About Privacy
The new data protection law, the GDPR, draws special attention to data privacy and makes it a specific concern when serving customers on social media.
As mentioned earlier, social media is open to the world. Content can be seen publicly and everyone can get involved. That’s the beauty of it, but it also requires discretion.
Be mindful of what you discuss openly and by all means avoid sharing the following:
- Billing information
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
- Mentioning specific items they’ve purchased from you
Beware of sharing any other type of information that can publicly identify the customer or details of the deal they have with you.
When you just have to get into the real deets of a situation, go behind the curtains and discuss the private stuff through a direct message on Twitter or via email. And remember, today it’s not just about being ethical; Now it’s law. If you don’t respect user privacy, there will be consequences.
Before boasting about famous brands joining your user base, make sure you get their consent first. And that consent is best delivered through email, so you have ‘the proof on paper’ in a case of any trouble.
5. Mark yourself at your tweets
Last but not least, don’t just keep your tweets categorized by the type of request or issue. They should also be assigned to the people who manage them.
This move is great because:
- It creates a sense of accountability and allows you to track interactions between your specific team members and customers.
- It gives your help service a more personal touch so that users can relate to the specific customer service representative and their conversation. Only after that should you create a multi-channel relation once they’ve engaged with the product.
For these reasons, add your signature to the tweets you send. Exactly the way Skyscanner does it. See the example below:
Okay. It looks like we’ve included all the basics, so roll up your sleeves and get your Twitter customer service up and running!
Providing Twitter customer service is tempting, as the process is super easy for your users. So what you can expect is → they are going to use this dashboard! And it can get tough at times - it demands lots of attention and you’ll have to provide a smooth flow and resolve issues quickly.
Just remember: whatever you are up to, be consistent with your strategy. Once you launch your Twitter help service, there’s no coming back! (of course, you can always deactivate an account, but such a move will prove that you gave up, and that’s not something you want people to see about you).
So keep all this in mind and make the right decision!
Hope you liked my article. Feel free to discuss the deets in the comments below.