Using Twitter for Customer Service

Twitter is fast becoming the Internet’s sexiest communication platform. And for good reason. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s convenient. And with the recent straight-line growth in media buzz and users, Twitter is pervasive. The bigger it gets the more useful it gets.

So it’s no accident companies are finding it an equally sexy customer service platform. Many big names are already using Twitter effectively to connect with and serve their customers.

That’s why Ben Parr’s article is so timely, so useful and so viral. (Last I saw it had 501 546 tweets.) In it he talks about how to use Twitter as a customer service platform. He offers some pragmatic advice on making Twitter a powerful customer service tool. I suggest you read his full post because it’s well worth it. For now though, here are a few thoughts I would add to what Ben says.

1. Customer service goes beyond service recovery. So can Twitter.

In fact service recovery is a tiny component of customer service. (Or at least it should be.) Twitter can be an excellent platform for connecting with customers at many touch points. The best customer service organizations give their customers what they want. To do this they have to know what customers want. Twitter can facilitate this conversation.

2. Twitter can increase employee engagement.

Using Twitter conversations as a learning tool and a knowledge base, you can engage more employees. It’s real-time, live, unadulterated knowledge from the front lines. By making it available to more employees you can engage their creativity and problem solving capabilities to address issues and create opportunities.

3. Twitter can make management smarter.

For the same reasons in #2, your company leadership can make better decisions because they have better information. Twitter can be a goldmine of information about your company or market. Grab this information and use it.

4. Don’t make Twitter a rock star at the expense of your other channels.

Comcast has one of the best digital support teams out there, led by Frank Eliason. Frank and his crew are amazing. But the rest of Comcast customer support looks weak and wimpy by comparison. The contrast is embarrassing. Make sure you don’t ignore your other support channels. They might be frumpy but they are necessary.

Ben has added a lot of value to this important conversation about how to use Twitter to deliver better customer service. Keep your eyes and Google Alerts open for more (much more) about this topic. This is just getting started.

What do you think – do you agree with my points here? Why or why not? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

You can use the comments form or this contact form.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz