If you have an official company Twitter account (and you should), it’s inevitable that you’ll receive customer contact via Twitter. Twitter is an excellent and highly responsive medium for being in touch with your customers. It’s also entirely public; customers posting positive (and negative!) reviews of your product or services will be doing so for the world to see; and possibly even reshare. As a result, the way you handle Twitter interactions with your customers can be an excellent means of creating business (or, conversely, dissuading potential customers from doing business with you).
Stay Aware; Stay Responsive
Making the most of customer interaction via Twitter is a matter of staying active, attentive, and responsive. Since Twitter is an extremely fast-moving medium, you’ll have to move just as quickly to address Tweets (particularly negative Tweets) before they have the chance to go viral. You’ll want to keep a close eye not just on @ mentions, but also keywords that might indicate customer complaints. Using a social media management system, you’ll be able to monitor keywords including your company’s name (and any nicknames or derivatives thereof), names of your products or representatives, and hashtags that might include these words.
Execute Exceptional Customer Service
These methods will help you to suss out who your customer is and what they need help with. Once you do that, it’s time to execute the best customer service you can offer. Remember: the world is watching. You’ll want to give actionable information to your customer; and this might take more than the notorious 140 characters Twitter limits you to. If you can’t solve their problem quickly or if the brevity of Twitter is making it so the problem is difficult to understand, encourage the customer to contact you directly via another means (and provide that means in the Tweet). Alternately, tell the customer that you will Direct Message them with a better contact method for you (and then, of course, follow through). This will allow you to show the world how responsive you are, but also give the customer the individual attention they need and deserve. Direct message is an excellent option for providing information in a semi-private forum; but remember that a customer can always screenshot the contact and post it publicly. Be certain that you’re always giving your all to these interactions; they can truly make or break a customer service situation.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t automate responses to customer complaints. A wooden, robotic reply (in front of your entire Twitter audience) is off-putting and gives the message that the customer isn’t important to you. Personalize each response to assure the customer that you are ready to help, and that their issue is a top priority. This personalization can take a great deal of time, but that extra mile speaks volumes to your dedication.
Make it Visible
Be certain to post the link to your Twitter feed somewhere on your “contact us” webpage. This will allow customers to find you easily in a space that you are constantly available. It also means that you’ll be able to effectively share company news and updates with the people who need to see them most.
Remember that the virality of Twitter can be used for you or against you. Re-sharing positive responses you’ve received from customers via Twitter is as easy as pie; simply retweet the reply and there you go. You’ve now effectively used social media for its primary purpose: to promote social contact between individuals (and, in the process, taken advantage of a free advertising opportunity).
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