Printer-Friendly

social media how toDo you use Twitter to stay connected with your customers?

Have you integrated Twitter into your customer service strategy?

Would you like to know which companies are doing this best?

Why Twitter Customer Service?

Gone are the days when people would call up a company and complain.

Now, people are more likely to head to their smartphones or computers to tell the world how terrible a product or service is.

That’s why customer service is becoming increasingly important on social media platforms like Twitter.

A study done by Simply Measured showed that 99% of brands are on Twitter, and 30% of them have a dedicated customer service handle. The average response time was 5.1 hours with 10% of companies answering within an hour, and 93% of companies answering within 48 hours.

Here are 4 companies with exceptional customer service on Twitter and key takeaways to help you improve how your customers perceive your company on Twitter.

#1: JetBlue Excels in Responsiveness

Airline delays are one of the most common causes of customer frustration. Not only do delays happen often, but also people are pretty vocal about their feelings when their flight is delayed.

Acknowledging this, @JetBlue ensures they’re responsive to their customers because they understand it’s important for continued customer loyalty. Not only do they engage with happy customers, but they also respond to and help frustrated customers as quickly as possible.

jetblue tweet

JetBlue assisting a frustrated customer.

Sure, a lot of airlines do this now. What makes JetBlue stand out from its competitors?

JetBlue is known to be extremely responsive to customers mentioning their brand. Whether they send a public @reply or a private DM to answer a question, they are quick to interact. As seen in the picture above, they reached out to their frustrated customer within the hour.

Key takeaway: Respond quickly.

Twitter is a channel where customers expect quick responses. As a result, you’ll likely want to respond to mentions and inquiries quickly. Many companies dedicate full-time employees to the task of responding to customers and potential customers on Twitter. Make sure you have a social media plan in place to satisfy customers.

You might also want to consider having a plan in place for crises or when the volume of inquiries on Twitter are higher than expected. For example, in JetBlue’s case, bad weather may require that others from the company step in and help with the demand.

#2: Nike’s Separate Handle

@NikeSupport is a prime example of customer service done well. They constantly respond to followers on Twitter, whether it’s about their apparel, Fuel Band or other products. Every few minutes, you can watch them respond to someone new.

What makes this remarkable? Nike is a huge company. They have many different types of sports equipment and lines of apparel that make up their brand. While Nike manages a number of Twitter handles to accommodate followers interested in specific sports or store locations, @NikeSupport is dedicated solely to responding to customers who need help.

As you can see from the images below, Nike Support has tweeted over 160K times, whereas the Nike handle has only tweeted around 11K times.

nike twitter

Nike Twitter handle.

nike support

Nike Support Twitter handle.

Key takeaway: Make it easy.

While creating your social media strategy, think about your customers and how you can make getting help easy for them. Remember, in addition to losing a customer through poor customer service, you can also lose customers when you make things too complicated.

By having a single Twitter handle dedicated to answering all customer service questions, you make the lives of your customers much easier. It’s all about customer delight!

#3: Seamless Around-the-Clock Customer Service

It is no longer a 9-5 world—especially when it comes to social media—and some companies need to be available at all hours.

Seamless is an online food ordering service that serves customers in several time zones across the United States and in London. There’s always someone ordering food and eating, right?

In addition to engaging customers through trivia questions with prizes of free food, they also provide customer service around the clock.

seamless tweet twitter customer service

Seamless responds to an issue at 10:50 AM.

seamless tweet twitter customer service

Seamless responds to an issue at 4:46 PM.

Key takeaway: Manage your presence.

Consider your business model. Are there specific times of the day or night you need to be available? Should you be available at all hours? If you set automatic tweets throughout the night, do you also need to respond to replies and questions? You want to carefully consider the hours you are present on Twitter and be there when you’re needed. Global companies need to satisfy customers who are in the same city as the headquarters, as well as customers who are halfway across the globe.

#4: Comcast’s Quality Assistance

While speed of response is important, many companies underestimate the importance of quality assistance. A quick response that isn’t helpful can be as good as no response at all. In the case of Comcast, their customers are looking for specific help to fix their problems. If their wireless Internet isn’t working, they want to know how to fix it. If their television connection is out, they want to know how to repair whatever is broken.

To provide each customer with a timely and helpful response, Comcast’s Twitter account is managed by a team of people who can quickly offer technical support and troubleshooting tactics for a variety of issues.

comcastcares twitter customer service

@ComcastCares responds to issue.

Key takeaway: Provide appropriate knowledge.

If your customers are likely to contact you with technical issues, it may make sense to staff your Twitter team with knowledgeable personnel who can answer technical questions quickly and accurately.

Give careful consideration to who is answering the questions your customers are asking on Twitter.

Integrate Customer Service Into Your Company’s Social Accounts

These examples show how to use Twitter to cultivate loyalty by providing timely and helpful responses to customers.

Adopt similar tactics to improve your customers’ experience of your company on Twitter. Consider dedicating one person, even part time, to addressing customers’ questions on Twitter. Track the outcome to see whether you should expand the program.

What do you think? Do you provide customer service on Twitter? What results have you seen? Please leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get Social Media Examiner’s Future Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 500,000+ of your peers! Get our latest articles delivered to your email inbox and get the FREE Social Media Marketing Industry Report (56 pages, 90 charts)!

More info...