Being a social media manager has opened my eyes to the meaning of excellent customer service. Through positive engagement with Twitter users to rude personalities, one of my recent insights has been that a brand’s perception stems not only from how it offers effective customer service in the more traditional platforms, but also how it adapts and evolves by using newer outlets such as social media.
Although Instagram and Facebook may be the most pressing networks for marketers right now, the truth is that the blue bird remains one of the top avenues for customer service. The reason for that is derived from fact that the platform’s moto is simplicity and directness. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is fast-paced in a sense that people tweet out character limited messages to engage with one another, which also applies to brands. Unlike similar social media platforms, you can track hundreds of interesting users and content in a glance using hashtags and keywords, ideal for our modern attention-deficit world.
With over 326 million monthly users worldwide, brands are using Twitter as a tool to not only help customers on the fly, but build their customer service reputation. Being a business owner, it’s crucial to understand where your customers are socializing and sharing ideas online, as it will only help you connect with them in new ways. In fact, 85% of small and medium businesses who use Twitter say it’s an invaluable platform.
So, now that we understood the impact Twitter has, it’s equally important to comprehend how to maximize this platform’s potential to your business’ benefit. Ready to get started? Here are seven tips on how to master customer service on Twitter:
1. Know Twitter’s communication features inside out
Whether you’re a one-man band or a larger business, Twitter has a number of tools which can be implemented to almost any kind of account and allow you to offer customer service in a very accessible way:
Direct Messages (DMs)
Just like Facebook, in addition to public tweets or posts, Twitter also offers the option to chat privately. Known as DMs (Direct Messages), this feature is optional and can be switched on and off at any given moment. Allowing your customers to direct message you provides a more appropriate environment for sensitive or lengthy topics, which normally would not be suitable for character limited tweets.
Additionally, it’s recommended to create a welcome message that will greet those who reach out privately. Keep in mind: customers do not like to wait too long for a response, as 60% of people who reach out to brands on Twitter expect a reply within an hour. This automation tool is a great way to make the conversation feel more personable, as well as provide valuable information upfront, such as working hours, disclaimers and so on.
Once you’ve enabled the DM function, you can also create quick replies. This tool is perfect for business owners, as it allows you to build a bank of answers that can be sent with a click of a button. If you anticipate to receive repetitive questions about a specific topic, create a quick reply for it! This feature will save you precious minutes in formulating responses to customers and will increase your average response time. Remember to use it in moderation as you do not want to come off as robotic. Combining live chat with quick replies creates the perfect balance for excellent customer service.
Send Private Message link
Feel like the conversation is heating up and you would rather take it to a more private arena? This is what the Private Message link feature was created for. Basically, it's a link that you insert into your tweet to invite your counterpart to pursue the discussion through Direct Messages. With sensitive cases, moving a customer inquiry to a private message can be useful, in order to avoid a public scene. By adding a “Send Private message” link to your tweets, you’ll be able to direct people to speak with you privately with a click of a button. For clients who are less Twitter and tech-savvy, adding this link of code to your tweet will avoid any frustration on their end.
2. Monitor mentions and keywords around your brand
Monitoring what the Twitter peeps are saying about your brand is essential for implementing and continuously improving your customer service. Reading what people say about you “behind your back” can only help you understand how your business is perceived, understand the pain points of your clients, and even catch some complaints you may have missed on your own account. But how do you do that, considering the gazillions of tweets published every minute? This can be achieved through the use of mentions. Customers can tag your brand in order for you to notice them. Additionally, hashtags can be used in the same sense to categorize tweets and display them easier in customized search results.
However, some tweets may not contain hashtags that are as clear cut as #nameofyourbrand. This is where you should be creative and make good use of tools designed for this. They can send you alerts around specific hashtags and keywords you’ve identified around your brand or your competitors. For example, social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite assist in monitoring your many social media channels and help you to respond instantly.
3. Never ignore negative feedback and conversations
They say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This phrase applies to customer service more than any other industry, as you will always, at some point, encounter negativity and frustration online. Believe it or not, engaging with angry customers does have its benefits. By having a space for frustrated users to release tension shows that you genuinely care about your customers through thick and thin. A negative comment is an opportunity. One, to learn something about your brand, product or service. Secondly, to turn it into a positive interaction. Nothing feels better than managing to convert an angry customer into a lifelong ambassador.
A superb example of a brand giving their full attention to negative feedback is when Slack, a team collaboration software, reached out to a customer who experienced a service outage. Let’s take you through what they did right:
Apology - When it feels right for your business, customers expect brands to apologize and take ownership of their mistakes.
Transparency - Be open about your mistakes. Customers definitely do not want to be showered with excuses. In the end, we’re all human and mistakes do happen.
“Manning” - The user feels as if the team dropped everything they’re doing to help them through their issue. With Slack’s quick response time and proactivity, the user feels like “they’re on it”.
Adaptability - You’ll normally get a sense of your users through the way in which they write. Emojis are a fun tool to use on social media channels to express a certain emotion. Because the user previously published a GIF in the tweet, Slack sensed the users tone and proceeded with using emojis. Be sure to adapt your answers based on the level of tone and friendliness of each user.
No need for super creativity - Some companies spend time and effort in creating super sophisticated answers, with videos in 4D and revolutionary cats GIFs. But remember what this interaction teaches us: for frustrated customers, a simple tweet of “We’re sorry, we’re working on it” can be all they really need to hear.
4. Be super fast
Social media users expect light speed answers. Otherwise, they’ll be waiting over the phone for a handful of minutes slowly becoming more frustrated. Response time is one of the most important factors for customer service, as clients are willing to spend more with companies who responded the quickest. This is why you should make sure you’re always prepared to provide a response. With Wix Answers, you’ll achieve speed and efficiency thanks to a well-organized ticketing system. Twitter mentions are automatically created into a ticket through Zapier API integration and can be easily tracked through real-time notifications.
5. Create content that will serve your customers
Having a business page on Twitter isn’t just about responding to tweets. Another way to increase customer engagement is by beating them to the punch and sharing content that they’ll find useful. For example, you can decide to frequently share your most read knowledge base articles. The idea here is to show that you come with materials for assistance, while potentially reducing the number of tickets you’ll have to deal with by enabling customers to find solutions by themselves. While the idea sounds pretty straightforward, it’s important to plan ahead in order to get the best results. Start off by creating a social media plan and keep in mind who your audience is, the goal of your page and of course, your strategy to make it succeed. Making information accessible equals happy customers.
6. Open a Twitter account dedicated to customer service
Want to show how serious you are about customer service? Having a dedicated Twitter page that solely handles clients inquiries will allow you to focus on complaints, keep communication well organized and respond in a timely manner. Moreover, having a separate account shifts negative attention and conversations from your primary brand account, where you can focus on more traditional marketing campaigns, product announcements and blog related tweets. After launching the page, have your team monitor the Twitter in shifts to make sure everything is covered. This is exactly what we did for Wix. We opened our own channel Wix Help Twitter page dedicated for answering customer support questions.
7. Be personal
Whether you’re a team of one or 10, it’s very helpful to sign your name or initials when responding to tweets. Firstly, it gives your customers a sense of connection and human touch. Secondly, it will help you track who replied to what and monitor your team’s performance. Do not be afraid to be personal with your customers. With only 280 characters per tweet, you’ll have to keep your response short and casual while still staying true to your brand’s voice. Don’t forget, we’re humans, so act like one!
Offering help on social media channels, especially on Twitter, has become the norm and a must-have for any successful business. No matter the size of your company or audience, be consistent and fresh with your strategy and you’ll have happy tweets for life.
Ready to use these tips to successfully engage with your customers? Get the best help desk software today!