Times are changing in the customer service industry. Ten years ago if people needed help with a product or wanted to vocalize a complaint, they had to call a 1-800 number and listen to oldies rock for an unspecified amount of time. However, with the rise of social, Twitter and Facebook have become customer service hubs and by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with brands online.
Simply put, customer service on social media is just an expectation. But, the business reasons go further. As Jeff Bezos says, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” Engaging with your customers online, coupled with customer service, is key to managing your brand’s reputation.
Here are the most important things to know about having great customer service on Twitter:
Establish a Social Monitoring Platform
Just signing into Twitter and checking your notifications is not enough for great customer service. Once you have an established a social media monitoring platform, make sure to pull keywords that relate to your company. Like mentions of your company name that aren’t your official handle, popular misspellings of your company name, and any hashtags you have used for campaigns in the past, along with common keywords that you and customers associate with your company.
Timing is Actually Everything
There is something about an instant reply that calms even the angriest of customers. The fact that you are there and you are willing to listen to their problem is extremely important. Plus since it is a public platform, other people can see how fast you replied, which is good for your public image.
When to DM
Tweets are limited to 140 characters. After you @ the customer you are talking to, you don’t have a lot of time to explain your answer. If you have a short answer, a public reply is sufficient. If you need to gather any personal information, have a long response, or the customers are especially upset, have them send you a DM. Just make sure you are following them!
Depending on your brand’s product or service, customers may contact you after business hours, when they get off work. If you are able to implement the infrastructure, having Twitter customer service available after normal business hours (and on weekends) is a great way to boost customer satisfaction.
Follow Your Brand Voice
Confident, playful, self-assured, helpful, whatever your company’s brand voice is, make sure that all of your tweets fit within it. Consistency is very important when it comes to responses, and having a brand voice to follow makes it that much easier to implement.
A Personalized Touch
Twitter is full of robots. Don’t be one of them! People can tell instantly if you are giving them an already calculated, generic response and they don’t appreciate it. Say their name, reiterate their issue, show that you are a human, that you hear them and that you care about helping them.
(Almost) Always Reply
It is important to reply to negative comments, as someone could just be frustrated about their product or the services they have received up to the point of actually airing their disdain publicly on Twitter. Each brand should have its own rule of thumb for what tweets necessitate a response and using your best judgment is key, too.
Superior customer service is one of the most important things a company can provide, and having great customer service on Twitter isn’t optional anymore; it’s essential.