Twitter For Customer Service: Best Practices

Written by Kara Burns


The days of waiting for a customer service representative to answer your phone call or respond to that email you sent days ago are over — thanks to social media. Now more than ever, customers are turning to Twitter to voice their opinions in the public eye for a more immediate customer service response. This means that brands of all shapes and sizes need to be on their A-game when it comes to online customer service.

In this blog post, we discuss the different ways brands can utilize Twitter as a customer service tool, as well as the many best practices that come along with it.

As more brands turn to social media to expand their reach, more customers are taking their interaction and engagement with brands to a whole new level by voicing their customer service requests. Now is the time for brands to step up to the plate and put an actionable plan into place on how to handle customer service in the social media space. Below are a few statistics to show just how important this trend is becoming:

  • 45% of customers share negative reviews on social media while only 30% share positive reviews
  • When companies take the time to respond and engage to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company
  • Customers who experience a positive social media customer service interaction are nearly three times more likely to recommend a brand
  • 42% of people of that have a good experience of customer service on social will tell their friends while 53% will talk about a bad one

Twitter Customer Service Best Practices

Have the right tools in place

It’s important to have the right tools in place to stay on top of every single tweet you receive. There are several social media management platforms such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Sprinklr that can help manage and alert you of all incoming tweets. These tools will help you stay on top of and track all tweets and responses your team is providing. Furthermore, you could also consider setting up a second Twitter account for your business created specifically for customer service oriented tweets, making it easier to track and monitor the incoming tweets your customers may have.

Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback

By treating negative feedback with the same attention you would positive feedback, you will start to build opportunities to regain customers and learn more about what customers are experiencing when interacting with your business. Furthermore, this allows you to identify opportunities for improvement. Additionally, by showing your customers you respect what they have to say and by replying to their tweets, you will allow for less frustration on both ends.

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Maintain a quick response time

By far, this is one of the most important aspects of providing customer service via Twitter. In one study, 53% of users said they expect businesses to reply to their Tweets in less than an hour. Additionally, the better response time you have, the more likely your customers will be satisfied and will continue to do business with you. By using a social media management platform such as Sprout Social, you will have insight as to how fast you are responding to tweets, and can adjust or improve based upon your metrics.

Respond like a human

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a ‘robot’ respond to your customer service needs. Although this is more common over the phone, the same holds true for responses via social media. One of the more appealing aspects of turning to Twitter for customer service is the idea that a response will come from another human. When responding to a customer service tweet keep in mind the following:

  • Twitter is a more informal platform, so be conversational but professional
  • Maintain your brand’s overall ‘voice’ in every response
  • Take on a more personable approach

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Go beyond expectations

After you resolve a customer’s problem, the interaction doesn’t have to stop there. Take it a step further and find new ways to go the extra mile for your customers and show them that you do appreciate them. This can range from simply retweeting their tweet or wishing them a happy birthday. Customers will take notice and take notice of your brand even more!

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