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How To Use Twitter For Customer Service

All small businesses have an aim of satisfying their customers.  Although good customer service is something that every organisation aims for, small businesses often have more of a focus on doing so because they need to develop quickly — fail to satisfy customers and they’re going to fail to create the positive brand reputation they so desperately need.

As we’ve talked about previously, the entire customer experience needs to be considered to ensure the complete satisfaction of all customers.  However, this is an in-depth part of business and requires considerable dedication on both an initial and continual basis.

Whilst needing to be a consideration for all organisations, the more specific customer service techniques can prove to have a much quicker impact and in a way that is easier and more effective for small businesses to utilise.

And as with the customer experience, digital technologies are playing a more pivotal role in the success of any customer service strategy delivered, with one of the most notable tools used in recent times being Twitter.

However, as such a versatile resource, it’s so often misused or not used effectively.  And it’s unfortunate, as it really doesn’t have to be the case, as with a little planning and preparation, it really can be a particularly effective platform.

Use it Solely for Customer Service

And one of the first things you should do is setup a Twitter account purely for customer service.

Most businesses around the world are using Twitter to some extent, generally to simply engage with their target audience.  It could be talking to them on a social level or it could be to provide useful advice and information, but the power of the resource makes it one of the best communication tools currently available.

While using Twitter on any level is generally going to impact positively on the wider customer experience, for customer service, it’s going to be more beneficial to have an account that you can use solely for this purpose.

This isn’t to say you can’t use Twitter on a more general level on your standard business account, but a separate account ensures you are able to deal with all genuine feedback in the most effective way possible.

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Take it Seriously

Following on from the above point, by having a separate Twitter account for customer service, it shows to your customers that you’re using the resource seriously.  They know where they can go if they’ve got a comment or question and if people are taking the time to use it in the right way, it makes the process more streamlined and efficient for you as a business.

The problem many people have with Twitter is that because it’s essentially just a communication tool – and a social one at that – it’s not often thought of as being a proper business resource – and as this is the case, it can lead to it only being used half-heartedly by both companies and customers alike.

By taking the lead and including it within your customer service properly, you showcase to your target audience that you are taking its use seriously.  Complaints can be made via the resource and feedback can be offered.  Explaining that such comments will be dealt with in exactly the same way as if they were made by e-mail or telephone, this increases the level of confidence your customers have with the resource – and it’s this confidence that will make them use it time and time again.

Don’t Use it to Deal With Everything

But what needs to always be remembered about Twitter is that it’s a public resource.  Everyone can see what you type and the conversations you have with others.

If these conversations are good, that’s fantastic and it will only increase your customers’ confidence in your use of the tool.  If it’s bad, however, your brand reputation as a whole could take a particularly large hit.

And it’s because of this why it’s strongly recommended you deal with certain comments – primarily complaints – away from Twitter.  By all means, use it to gather the complaints in and essentially consider it as a funnel from where you can gather complaint after complaint, but don’t try to deal with them there.  Instead, move them to somewhere more private, such as e-mail or telephone.

Some may think this is to hide certain things or cover something up, but it’s not – it’s simply to ensure that other potential customers don’t have to see what could be a negative conversation.  Even if the customer is wrong, a customer arguing with a company is never something that’s going to have a positive impact on the brand’s reputation and therefore their overall growth and development.

Twitter is one of the most active and beneficial digital tools any business can use, with over 500 million users.  Extremely versatile and having an array of benefits, using it for customer service purposes is just one of them, yet it still needs the right planning and preparation to ensure its implementation benefits the organisation – and their customers – in the best way possible.

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