It's hard to overstate the importance of quality customer service. Failing to provide stellar support to your users could mean they’ll take their business elsewhere – leaving you in a difficult situation.
Fortunately, you already have one of the world’s most effective customer service tools on hand. Social media platforms have become very effective places to provide support. Twitter, in particular, is a convenient way for your audience to voice their questions, requests, and concerns.
In this post, we’ll explore the role of Twitter as a potential customer service channel. We’ll also discuss how to interact with your audience on the platform, in a way that reflects positively on your business. Let’s get started!
Why Strong Customer Service Is Vital
Customer service is key to the ongoing success of just about any brand. After all, your customers are the ones who keep your business going. This means it’s vital to ensure that their needs are met. What's more, doing this can have a positive impact on your website as well.
This is especially true when it comes to conversions. In fact, studies have shown that customers will spend around 20–40% more with companies that engage with their customers. If you offer a product or service on your site, regular communication can lead to a sales boost.
Providing strong customer service can also increase the likelihood that users will leave positive testimonials on your site. Displaying those testimonials prominently is an excellent way to build trust, as people are more likely to believe the view of another customer than the (obviously biased) messaging of a brand.
However, customer service isn’t always easy to get right. The use of search engines like Google and other highly-efficient technologies means that people are now used to incredibly fast response times. They expect nothing less from businesses, which is where social customer service comes into play.
An Introduction to Social Customer Service
‘Social customer service' refers to the practice of providing support through social media channels. In fact, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are now known for their customer service potential as much as they are for their marketing features.
To illustrate the point, one study by Sprout Social found that 90% of surveyed consumers have used social media in some way to communicate with a brand. In the same study, over a third of respondents said they preferred social media to traditional channels such as phone and email.
The fast-paced approach of social media also makes it the perfect place for direct interaction with your audience. This is especially true of Twitter – a platform specifically designed for fast and efficient communication. Twitter provides clear and easy access to the user comments you receive, meaning that you'll be able to react quickly and prioritize your responses.
4 Ways to Provide Excellent Customer Service Through Twitter
While the available features make Twitter an ideal customer service tool, it’s important to know how to use the platform effectively. There are many ways to do this – let’s explore four of the most important.
1. Respond Promptly
As we mentioned earlier, people desire fast solutions. In fact, 60% of users expect a response within an hour of reaching out to a business online. While it may not always be possible to respond to every question in that time frame, speed is of the essence.
Fast responses indicate to your customers that you’re listening, and that you care. In fact, a Twitter study on airline companies even found that customers were willing to spend more with companies that responded quickly.
You can achieve fast responses through the use of a dedicated social media team – or an individual person, if you’re a smaller company. This person or group will need to monitor your Twitter account regularly, and respond to comments as quickly as possible. Although this is an extra expense, it should be a worthwhile investment over time.
2. Personalize the User Experience
We all know how good a more personal approach to customer service can feel. When a brand takes the time to acknowledge you as an individual, it makes you feel appreciated – and perhaps more likely to purchase from the company again.
If you’re running a subscription or membership service, it’s likely you’ll have repeat customers. In that scenario, make it clear that you remember each customer from past interactions. Use their name, and let them know how much you value their business. A little effort in this area goes a long way.
You could also try going the extra mile by offering additional advice. Don’t just answer the specific questions you receive, but also link out to other resources that may be of use. This shows your visitors that you have time for them – a perfect way to build their trust.
3. Introduce Some Personality
One of the best things about using Twitter for customer service is that it enables you to be a little less formal. Brand identity often gets lost in a sea of ‘professional’ jargon, and while this formality serves its purpose, it’s unlikely to make a lasting impression.
Reminding your customers that you’re human is a smart way to improve their trust and loyalty. There are many ways to add a more personal touch. To get started, it helps to always be friendly, and to use humor where appropriate. The judicious inclusion of GIFs is one way to do both.
For inspiration, you can look to the Innocent Drinks Twitter account:
This company provides valuable advice with a friendly (and funny) style. It's a combination that has earned the brand a huge following.
4. Use Tools to Streamline the Process
Hitting all of the above points may seem daunting – not to mention time-consuming. Fortunately, automating the process through some useful tools will help you speed things up significantly.
Social media management tools, such as Sprout Social, can enable you to keep track of your @mentions and direct messages. This is essential, since every user query you receive merits a response. Missing certain comments could lead to some very unhappy customers.
With Sprout Social, you can schedule content, automate publishing, and manage campaigns. You also have access to some detailed analysis of your Tweets – meaning that you can discover what kinds of posts work best. Of course, there are also plenty of other social media management solutions out there that you can try as well.
Strong customer service is vital to any business – and social media is a perfect way to handle it. Platforms like Twitter offer a fast and responsive way to provide support, meaning that you’ll be better able to gain and retain consumers and boost their brand loyalty.
In this post, we've discussed four of the ways you can use Twitter to provide stellar customer service. You can:
- Provide fast responses.
- Tailor your communication to individual users.
- Build trust by reminding customers that you are human.
- Automate the process, using tools like Sprout Social.
Do you have any more questions about how to use Twitter for customer service? Let us know in the comments section below!