Using Twitter for Customer Service: 6 Reasons to Consider it in Your Business

Twitter keeps getting more popular, more useful and more valuable to companies. It is becoming a rock star in the world of customer engagement tools.

But many people are skeptical, or at least unsure. Is it mostly hype? Will it fade away? Or is it a serious tool I should be using in my business?

Here are six reasons you should consider using Twitter to serve and connect with your customers.

1. It will bring you closer to your customers.

Twitter’s number one strength is its ability to connect people in real time.  It does this better than any other tool and it keeps getting better. Hundreds of companies are already using Twitter to talk with their customers.

Twitter can make it easy, convenient and fast for your customers to communicate with you. That’s what customers want. Why not give it to them?

2. It will make you smarter.

Twitter is a living breathing up-to-the-microsecond database of knowledge. You can use it to quickly and easily learn what people are saying about your company, your brand, your product, your industry, your competitors and almost anything else you can think of.

And the tools available to mine this data from Twitter get better every day. Once you learn how Twitter and these tools can work for you, it becomes easy to monitor the pulse of your industry using Twitter.

3. It can put you ahead of your competitors.

Because Twitter is new and not yet mainstream, most businesses are not using it. Many will take years. (I still know of some companies that don’t have email.) But because it is already a proven tool to communicate with customers, it can give you a big competitive advantage.

Depending on your industry and location you could be way ahead of your competition if you become knowledgeable of Twitter and its benefits.

4. It’s cool.

Okay, I know coolness is not typically a good business reason to try something. But in this case it might be. Because Twitter is hot right now, your company can get a brand boost in the “we’re up to date with new stuff” department.

It tells people (customers, employees, potential customers, media) that you’re not out of date. It says you’re in the game and in the know. And it gives you a reason to start conversations with people. It’s something people are already talking about so you can use it to become part of the conversation.

5. It’s free.

Like coolness, “free”  is usually not a compelling reason to start using a new tool for your business. But we’re in a challenging economy. We all need to be smart in how we use our resources. Investors, customers, even employees like to know they’re associated with a company that spends its dollars wisely.

Twitter’s reach and influence is growing daily hourly. It’s value is growing just as fast. It would be short-sighted to ignore something this big that doesn’t cost anything.

6. It’s new.

In a depressed economy, one that’s undergoing massive change, we should look for new ideas, new tools and new ways to get better at what we do. Not that everything we consider will make sense to try. But often new ideas we throw away lead us to other things that do fit.

Knowing what Twitter is and how it might help your business could spur other innovations to help you connect better with your customers. New is good!

A Caveat

I’m sure there are other compelling reasons to consider using Twitter for customer service in your organization. But remember, it’s not magic and it’s not a cure-all. It’s just a tool. And right now, it’s a very new tool. Most of your customers are not yet using Twitter. Some never will.

Twitter will not make or break your business. But, as more people in your world use it it will become more relevant and more valuable. At some point it will be hard to ignore. So do yourself a favor and invest a little time now to learn what Twitter is and how it might help you connect with your customers better.

What do you think? Do you agree with me that Twitter is a good tool for businesses to communicate with customers, or do I have it all wrong? Do you know of companies using Twitter to stay in touch with customers? Are there any you follow via twitter? Why or why not?

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz