Why Use Twitter for Customer Service?
Remember, Twitter is just a tool that combines texting, chat, and e-mail. And if your customer service representatives are already proficient at texting, chat, and e-mail, they’ll be whizzes at Twitter.
Adding Twitter to your customer service repertoire makes sense for these reasons:
You save money and training time. Twitter is free. You can use it easily. It takes only an hour (at most) to sign up for a Twitter account, download TweetDeck (it’s free), and give your customer service rep instructions on how to use TweetDeck and Twitter.
You improve customer service output. Say that you have customer service people who have a lot of time between calls; you can put them on Twitter duty (twuty?) so that they can handle customer problems on Twitter in their downtime. You’ve improved your customer service output without adding staff.
Your customer service reps save time. Think back to the last time you, as the customer, had to make a customer service call. How much of that conversation was spent waiting for the CSR to search for your account information?
In a Twitter conversation, you often have a gap between a tweet and its response. The other person may be doing something else or needed to step away from his or her computer. Twitterers expect these gaps. Your CSR could spend that downtime looking up account information, making notes on the customer file, or contacting the appropriate department.
You save the customer’s time. How many minutes a year do people spend on the phone waiting for the next available operator? If you have a major emergency, you have to wait on hold. But what if you have a minor problem that you’re too busy to deal with at the moment? Do you really want to wait for 20 minutes for a minor problem?
You improve the customer’s mood. Speaking to a CSR who helps solve the problem can improve a customer’s disposition. Lo-o-o-o-o-ng wait times don’t. If you can resolve a customer’s problem in less time than that individual would have spent waiting to speak to a real person (face to face or on the phone), you’ll end up with a happier customer.
You leave a public record of customer service. The public can see the Twitter stream. People are talking about your company and your brand. One of the stories they’re frequently telling is about your customer service or (hopefully not the) complete lack thereof. When people search for your company, you want the good stories to outweigh the bad ones. And a good story could include a Twitter conversation between you and a customer you just helped.
You improve your reputation. The people who tweeted about being unhappy with your business usually turn around and tweet that they’re happy again after what your customer service people did for them. And if they’re popular, that happy little story may get retweeted a few times, spreading that success story beyond just the original customer’s followers.