7 Tips for Providing Effective Twitter Customer Service

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7 Tips for Providing Effective Twitter Customer Service

While the social media age means brands have access to instant one-on-one conversations with their customers for marketing and customer feedback purposes, it also means customers expect brands to respond quickly to customer service issues and complaints.

Twitter is one of the best platforms for conversation types. For this reason, it is important to learn how to use Twitter specifically for handling customer inquiries.

Read on to find out why Twitter customer service is so valuable, as well as our top 7 tips for effective customer support on the platform.

Why is Twitter customer service important?

Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform that lends itself well to online conversations, making it the perfect platform for brands to turn to for social media customer service. Consumers want easy access to branding help and support, and tweeting is a great way to do that.

The number one reason your brand should take Twitter customer service seriously is because your audience there is likely already having conversations about your brand, and you need to be able to find them and respond in a timely manner.

However, Twitter customer service doesn’t necessarily have to be about responding to problems and annoying customers. This also includes simply answering questions and making the buying process in your company as easy as possible.

Here is an example of how Slack responds to a general knowledge question from a user in a matter of hours.

If you look at some of their other responses, it’s obvious that the team has a handle on customer service – some responses are sent within minutes!

This quick response time impresses customers, increases word of mouth marketing potential and extends customer relationships.

Let’s dive into our top 7 tips for creating an effective Twitter customer service strategy that will get your audience talking – the good way!

7 tips for an effective Twitter customer service strategy

1. Determine your Twitter customer service strategy

Your first step is to put together your plan for delivering customer service through social media. What is the best fit for your brand? Who on your team will take the lead in your social media customer support strategy?

These are important questions that you need to answer before you begin. If you have a community manager on your social media team, they’re the perfect person to respond to support questions – or at least put together a plan for responding to different types of requests.

You can choose to have them monitor your brand’s main Twitter account specifically for support-related mentions, or it will work better for your team to create a separate account just for support, as shown in this example below.

Robinhood's support Twitter account

Once you have completed your Twitter customer support journey, understanding the problems you are prepared for online is equally important. Make a list of issues that your customer care department can effectively resolve / support through Twitter, and mark your support website for additional resources and more complex questions, as you can see in the @AskRobinhood bio above.

2. Respond quickly to problems

Speed ​​will be the key to Twitter customer service. According to our response time research, 40% of consumers expect to receive a response from brands within the first hour of contacting social media, while 79% of consumers expect a response within the first 24 hours.

This means you need to have a brand name monitoring plan so you can get back in touch and resolve issues quickly.

Here’s a great example of a quick response from Goodreads. The first tweet was sent at 7:53 a.m. ET asking for help closing an account. Just two minutes later, at 7:55 a.m.CET, the Goodreads Twitter team arrived with a link to more information.

Goodreads answered a customer support question on Twitter within two minutes

While it may not always be possible to get your replies done this quickly at any time of the day, a good rule of thumb is to reply to all tweets sent within one hour during business hours and all tweets sent within 12 months afterwards Hours are sent hrs.

3. Know when to move conversations outside of the platform

You just won’t be able to resolve every 280 character support issue. Hence, you need to develop policies to escalate and redirect the issues that need to be addressed off-platform. This is especially important when it comes to private information that cannot be shared publicly, or when the conversation becomes increasingly complex and time-consuming.

Here is an example from Google Drive’s Twitter account helping a customer with a draft that disappeared from their Google Docs. After sending a few tweets back and forth, they referred her to their support team for more help. They also mention that the customer can keep them updated, which creates a sense of constant support even if they move the interaction to another platform.

Screenshot of Google Drive Twitter account helping a customer

It’s a good idea to keep a document outlining all of the elements your Twitter support can handle, as well as identifying where to take customers if that requires more direct or in-depth attention.

You can also use Sprout Social’s Saved Responses feature to control your responses and the help you should provide. Save text replies to your asset library so you can easily send tweets to help your customers. This is a great way to save links to specific resources so team members don’t have to look them up, or to save information that should be stylistically consistent, like product names and details. Your team can then focus on creating a personalized response to individual messages around this core information.

Sprout Social Asset Library

4. Don’t ignore the feedback

Ignoring negative conversations online about your brand can make things a lot worse than if you had originally addressed it directly. Also, don’t give ready-made answers or try to avoid responsibility. Show that you care about the feedback and plan to work on improving things so it doesn’t happen again.

It’s also important to follow up on the conversation if you receive positive feedback that doesn’t just “like” the message.

Check out how Chewy handled this customer feedback from a tweet:

tough feedback example on twitter

They quickly got in touch with the client on Twitter even though the problem had already been handled by the support team over the phone, with the client’s initial complaint resolved to the point where they could post a public compliment.

This interaction helps make the quick response time and thorough resolution of the customer’s shipping address problem public, and reaffirms the importance of responding to positive feedback in a meaningful way in order to build customer relationships.

5. Showcase your brand’s personality

When dealing with customer service issues, you want to maintain your brand voice and personality throughout all of your communications. Creating engaging responses like using pictures / GIFs / videos can be a great way to keep in touch with your roots.

Whether or not this is appropriate will of course depend on your overall industry as well as the severity of specific complaints. However, this is another point that should be addressed in your overall customer care policy.

Check out this tweet from Pop-Tarts, a brand that loves to be naughty online.

Screenshot of Pop-Tarts customer service response showing their brand personality

Her response to this complaint is less formal than most others and remains true to her brand personality. Make sure that your own Twitter customer service responses are always real and branded.

6. Monitor your brand names

This is the best way to become aware of conversations around your brand, good or bad, and to respond to them in a timely manner. To do this, you need to set up your social listening dashboard in a tool like Sprout Social.

Make a list of topics to keep track of on social media, including keywords like your brand name and its iterations like abbreviations or common spelling variations, and add additional keywords specific to your industry.

Then you can easily keep up with social conversations and help your audience.

7. Humanize your support team

One final way to really make your Twitter customer service stand out is to let your audience know that real people are behind the handle. You can approach this in different ways depending on how your overall brand voice is structured: you can refer to your team as “we”, include initials or names to unsubscribe from messages, and use the appropriate conversational language for each response.

Nike uses a chatty but sincere tone and “we / us” references to reflect the team of real people behind their account:

Example of Nike Twitter support

If you choose this pathway in your Twitter support strategy, make sure you create an overall humanized context; B. the use of emotions (“we are happy about it”) or a more personal tone (“that is not the case”) which we like to see “). Don’t just rattle off a form response and add initials to make up for a dry response.

Online customer service can be frustrating for customers who want to know they are talking to a real person. Hence, reminding your audience that there is a human behind the handle is a great way to calm your audience.

Create your own effective Twitter customer service strategy

With these seven tips, you should be well on your way to putting together an effective Twitter customer service plan so that your customers will always have a good interaction with your brand online. Good customer service requires a good reputation. So it is time to make sure you are as helpful as possible.

Use the features of Sprout Social to keep an eye on all brand names and react accordingly. Request a demo to learn more about how Sprout Social can transform your community management.