The rise of social media has enabled brands to engage in real-time, instant communication with their clients and audiences. A capability considered integral for customer feedback and marketing purposes.
Naturally, customers expect companies to respond to them immediately for any complaints or service issues.
And as far as social media channels go, Twitter is among the most prominent platforms. This makes it imperative to include Twitter engagements when creating customer care strategies.
The Importance Of Twitter Customer Service
Unlike video streaming apps like YouTube, Twitter is well-suited for online conversations. Therefore, being able to receive and act on feedback instantly is of great value to businesses.
This makes it an ideal social media platform for brands to target when looking for customer service optimization. And as a result, there is an improvement in:
- Global customer service
- After-sales service
But, audiences are already discussing your brand. This makes it more important to be present on Twitter. And you must maneuver those discussions and engagements in your brand’s favor.
In any way, this twitter customer service is seen as a win-win situation. Research has shown that brands that improve customer service through Twitter see a spike (19%) in customer satisfaction. Thus, brands get praised for their service, and customers get swift feedback.
Also, the value for money and return on investment for any Twitter customer service campaign are immense. For example, it costs around $1 to respond to a consumer on Twitter, while it would cost you $6 in a conventional call center setup.
As a result, most brands now have dedicated Twitter handles just for customer support. It is also noted that companies with dedicated handles (other than their brand handle) get much better responses. But, again, this shows your audiences that you value their feedback and are willing to respond to them sharply.
Furthermore, brands don’t need to limit their customer service to appeasing annoyed customers. They can also venture towards queries, promoting their business, and upselling products.
What Makes An Effective Twitter Customer Service Plan?
The first step for an effective Twitter customer service plan is to ask questions like:
- “What customer service strategy will work best for my Twitter target audience?”
- “Who will manage my brand’s Twitter customer service strategy?”
The answer to the first question lies in the second one; this may sound confusing, but hear us out. If your brand already has a social media team, it can be asked to create a Twitter customer interaction plan.
However, if you don’t have a social media team in place, or your team is more suited to other platforms, you may need to find other solutions. These solutions can either include hiring someone with Twitter experience or putting your existing team through basic training.
There are many different options to consider. Therefore, before proceeding with a customer support campaign, it is crucial to address such preliminary questions. But in any case, there are two possibilities:
Ideally, brands would also monitor their main Twitter account for support-related engagements, or they might find it better to set up a separate account for customer support.
Without further ado, here are some tested ways to set your Twitter customer service strategy apart:
#1 Be Prompt With Responses
The key to an effective online customer support strategy is responding quickly. Research states that 40% of overall customers expect businesses to reply no later than one hour of contact on social channels, while 79% think this reply should come within 24 hours.
That means brands need an effective plan to monitor Twitter mentions and reply to audiences in due time. Remember, the ideal response time should be within a few minutes of receiving a client query.
And while it isn’t always possible to deliver immediate responses, make sure to respond within business hours. Moreover, for queries received outside operational timings, ensure to reply within 12 hours.
According to statistics, faster responses lead to greater customer satisfaction and retention. And this leads to more business for your brand. As a result, customers will be more comfortable giving you their business.
#2 Monitor Brand Mentions
The most influential Twitter customer service strategy is to monitor brand mentions. This allows you to stay aware of any conversations happening in the Twitterverse regarding your brand, whether they’re positive or negative.
For this, you can compile a topic list that you want to monitor regarding your brand. This can include:
- Keywords of your brand name
- Its abbreviations
- Other industry-specific phrases and terms
Hence, you should track these terms and stay updated with anywhere your brand appears. Doing so will provide maximum visibility and outreach.
#3 Never Ignore Negative Feedback
Ignoring negative discourse regarding your brand can end up being much worse than any other scenario. In the public sphere, it’s all about taking responsibility. Hence, a company hiding from the bad press can leave a terrible impact on its brand image.
Also, avoid giving meek responses to avoid responsibility. When responding to complaints or negative feedback, it’s essential to be:
Show that you care, and your organization will work on improving their customer experiences in the future.
As for positive feedback, it’s a wise idea to reinforce the mentions with a short but witty reply. This will show the customer that you care, rather than simply liking or retweeting it.
A well-crafted reply to a complaint can set brands apart from their competitors and go a long way in building positive customer relationships.
Most notably, some brands have also made their name from the way they respond to negative comments. This is because seeing other people have their complaints addressed transparently and promptly can inspire others to do business with the brand.
#4 Take Complex And Confidential Conversations Off-Platform
Here’s where companies run into problems on Twitter — its 280-character limit. Brands might be unable to address issues within the engagement standards set by Twitter. As a result, companies need to develop a plan to reroute these problems off-platform.
This is especially important when dealing with data that shouldn’t be shared on public platforms, be it private, financial, or confidential. Also, it’s wise to switch to a more brand-specific customized platform when the conversation becomes more complex.
#5 Highlight Your Brand Ethos
Even when handling complaints and support issues, you should maintain a voice and image that people would expect from your brand and your communication. For example, if your brand image is witty and interactive, you might want to use videos and GIFs in your customer interactions to stay true to your roots.
However, there’s always room for flexibility on Twitter. This is because using a customer-based platform makes your communications seem more real. People don’t want automated responses; they want to speak to a human.
Therefore, how you interact with each customer depends on the severity of the complaints, your industry standards, brand ethos, and goals.
#6 Humanize Your Interactions
In addition to the idea mentioned above, you should try and humanize your Twitter customer service interactions. Let your audience know that there are actual people behind your customer support handle.
You can make this happen in different ways:
- Use personalized initials as email signatures in your replies
- Use intimate, conversational tones when engaging with audiences
- Make references to your team to establish you aren’t an automated bots
If you choose to rely on a conversational tone for your Twitter customer service strategy, make sure to factor in the context of the conversation. Avoid using conventional customer service replies that make it seem like you’re reading off a script.
The customer service experience is refreshing when people don’t have to resort to formal emails, complaint portals, and bored customer service representatives.
To boil it down, here are few quick pointers to ensure a concise Twitter customer service package for your audiences:
- Be engaging and pro-active
- Prioritize empathy towards customer concerns and grievances
- Make sure you are quick to offer help in a forthcoming manner
- Lose the typical customer service pitch
- Personalize your interactions with each consumer
- If appropriate, use the customer’s name or their Twitter handle
- Have each support person use their name or company alias
So far, so good! But wait, there’s more – Twitter has included two additions to make it easier for business to improve their customer service game.
The first feature allows businesses to switch to private conversations. All it takes is a click to switch to the Direct Message mode. This can be a valuable feature for when the interaction calls for divulging financial and other private details.
The second feature allows brands to gauge customer satisfaction levels with a feedback survey called the NPS (Net Promoter Score).
Furthermore, Twitter has released a publication called Customer Service on Twitter, which is available to download for free.
Social media customer service cannot be slept on. Companies that want to stay relevant will have to adjust all social media platforms, including a coherent Twitter customer service plan, to stay ahead of their competition.
So regardless of whether your company is B2B or B2C, an online customer service plan is the need of the hour!
These tips should set you on the path to maintaining an effective Twitter customer service strategy and ensuring visibility on the social media platform.
Finally, make sure that your customers have positive interactions with your brand since good customer service ensures a good reputation and better business for your brand.
Reach out to Mentionlytics and experience your business boom! They will help you create the best Twitter Customer service strategy.
After all, their goal is the same as yours: grow your brand’s reputation! Try it for free today!