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Social Support: Using Twitter for Customer Service

Twitter Customer ServiceThe days of customer call reluctance and the pains of poor over-the-phone customer service are well behind us. Welcome to the social generation. Not only is your daughter announcing to the world her engagement over Twitter and your son sharing the first photos of his new baby boy, but customer service is even making a move toward a social platform.

However unlike announcing important life events via your social media outlets, customer service via Twitter has many benefits never before available by other means of consumer communications. As a matter of fact, almost every technology firm has integrated customer service into their social media strategy. (It’s not going to be long until the bakery down the street does so too.) So how does it work?

Image for a second that your bathroom just flooded. (This situation is even worse if you’re in a hotel.) Despite any and all efforts on your part to resolve the problem nothing seems to work. I’m willing to bet that for most of you your next course of action is to break out your computer or cell phone in search of a plummer. However, imagine already following your plumber on Twitter. Instead of spending the next 5 minutes searching, all to blush (out of embarasment) for the next 5 minutes on the phone, why not just send a quick tweet to your local plumber!

Let’s pretend you said something like: “Hello @plumber. Bathroom looks like Titanic. Can you help?”

The rest of the conversation may include advise or could end in a sale. Community Managers, or the voice on your social media platforms, are highly trained on all aspects of your business. Whether it be sales functions, quick advise or even fixing sticky situations.

Customers enjoy having the convenience to speak over a casual, open and inviting social media environment versus the strict corporate confines of traditional customer service. But what benefits does it have for the business?

Take into consideration the vast majority of time the average person spends online each day. Activities can include anything from a casual chat with friends to serious searches for new products or services. Online usage of social media platforms has become such an essential part of consumer habits that even Google has abandoned its former SEO formula for one in favor of a social search. When considering social customer service, consider the following:

  1. Search Engine Optimization – Your social media strategy means more to your internet survival now more than ever. Google isn’t just tracking your  usage of your company profiles, but customer interactions. The more your customers interact with your brand online, the higher your changes are of being found organically via search engines.
  2. Customers do not trust the internet. They trust people. – Business’ with e-commerce solutions can tell horror stories of costs related to providing consumer confidence. The fact remains that even with the advent of added convince, consumers will continue to trust the human element, and the human element alone. Giving consumers a human to speak to in real time via Twitter can assist in restoring that selling confidence.
  3. Not all of your corespondance is public. – Twitter doesn’t limit you to public corespondance between your business and your customers. With private direct messaging capabilities you can choose what is seen by the world and what is for your community manager’s eye only. This is especially helpful in shinning the limelight on positive functions of your business’ customer relations.

Business’ everywhere will continue to adapt social media platforms as an added customer service option. When considering its popularity among Generation C, we can honestly say it makes sense.