How to succeed with customer service on Twitter

05 January 2017 by Anita Matthews

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Whether you are just starting out on the social customer care road or already have an established social presence, it’s essential to understand how to successfully handle customer engagement on Twitter.

Social media is irreversibly changing customer care and many platforms are introducing new customer-centric features to help businesses better connect with their customers. Research from Aberdeen Group found that organisations that evolved social care capabilities improved year-over-year revenue per contact by 19% compared with those who were not active.

To help your business cope with the ever-increasing requirement to support customers on the platform, improve satisfaction and save on the cost to serve, we’ve put together our top 4 actionable tips to ensure customer service interactions on Twitter are a positive, impactful experience.

For more top tips try our guide: Twitter Customer Service Explained

#1 Get quicker at answering Tweets

Twitter has become a potent channel for customer care that cannot be ignored. But, the number of brands that do not answer their customers properly on Twitter is surprising. UK retailers for example, need to be equipped to answer customers within minutes of first contact. In reality, response times range from just a couple of minutes from super-fast brands like B&Q, to slow-poke average response times, which Eptica puts at 5 hours 40 minutes, and never.

#2 Separate noise from genuine customer service enquiries

The tidal wave of social mentions can be overwhelming for teams on the frontline to handle. Not all messages require a response and you need to be able to cut through the noise to get to those which do.

Having a dedicated @help handle means agents have a first level of prioritisation on messages and customers can be confident that specialist support teams are there to serve them with knowledge.

However you will still need to monitor your main account. Not everyone will bother to check your Twitter page to see if you have a separate account for support.

#3 Give your support team the right tools for the job

Using smart customer engagement software which intuitively simplifies and organises agent inboxes lets team members focus on the real job in hand - talking to customers and resolving their issues. Team members have real-time visibility on their inbox and a single stream of mentions is automatically assigned to them to assess and action. Conversation locks stop duplication and last agent routing means customers get to talk to same person again. Live engagement metrics helps supervisors to manage shifts and get the best out of their team.

Use automations to intelligently scan, route and prioritise inbound tweets (both direct and indirect mentions) so the right person sees it at the right time. Priority tags, defined by specific keywords or phrases, means agents quickly get to the most important mentions first.

If you have multi-lingual agents, route country Twitter accounts to the right location agents and direct any additional comments in specific languages away from your main profiles. The language specialist then has a single stream to work through. This ensures 360-degree visibility on main accounts is maintained to ensure comments are not being missed.

#4 Use complaints as a retention opportunity

Organisations acting on real-time information when things go wrong can put things right almost immediately, close the operational process and meet customer expectations that you are listening and ready to fix issues when they send a tweet. Businesses that are not doing this are losing valuable insight on what customers really think, and what needs changing. Unhappy customers, and just about anyone else who sees a complaint go unanswered, will assume the business simply does not care.

Jay Baer, in his book Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, explained how answering complaints increased customer advocacy across all customer service channels.

Why does hugging your haters make good business sense?

  • Turning bad news good - gives you a chance to recover and retain an unhappy customer
  • Building customer advocacy - can increase short term and long term affinity for your business, create expressions of public support and yield real financial impact
  • Leveraging insights and intelligence - enables you to glean insights about your business that can improve your processes and operations
  • The best huggers have a competitive advantage - in today’s marketplace meaningful differences are rarely rooted in price or product but in customer experience.

For more information, see our guide: Twitter Customer Service Explained

Guide: Twitter Customer Service Explained

For more on resourcing, getting the best from your social team, proactive content and a whole heap more, read: How to Manage Social Customer Service at Scale

Tags: social customer care, B&Q, Twitter, enterprise

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