On Twitter but not really active? Not on Twitter at all? The aim of this article is to illustrate WHY you should be active on Twitter from a customer service standpoint.
You may have any number of reasons you avoid using Twitter for your business. Let’s discuss the most common I encounter and why those reasons suck:
My company is too small
Often I hear small- and medium-sized-business owners argue that Twitter is only effective for large businesses. First, let’s check out these telling statistics and see if you change your mind:
*Twitter + Research Now “Customer Insights Study”, 2016 (Source)
66% of Twitter users have discovered a new small or medium business and 69% have purchased from a SMB because of something they saw on Twitter? I rest my case.
Okay, obviously not every business will benefit from a presence on Twitter. As with any social media strategy, you want to be on the network(s) your target audience uses. So search Twitter for mentions of your company, the products or services your company offers, and mentions of your competitors. If conversations exist around any of these topics, you need to be present.
And because you’re small is an argument for using Twitter for customer service. It’s cheaper and easier than setting up any other customer service response system. This will be discussed further later on.
Twitter is better-suited for B2C companies
I won’t argue with you that B2C companies seem to naturally fit on Twitter. But that doesn’t mean that B2B companies can’t benefit from being on Twitter.
One of the most effective Twitter customer service exchanges I’ve ever had was on behalf of my company–a pure B2B interaction. We were a new business customer and I was experiencing a run around via telephone. I had an issue with my order which we needed resolved quickly before a trade show in less than a week. I spent a few days trying to get anything accomplished via telephone and it wasn’t until I took my frustrations to Twitter that I received an immediate, helpful, and satisfactory response. The guy on the other end of the company Twitter resolved our issue in record time and in a manner that saved our trade show presence.
Here are a few examples of B2B companies that are thriving on Twitter. You can too–even as a B2B firm.
Twitter is dying…right?
Wrong. Sure, recently Twitter hasn’t experienced the growth Instagram and Facebook have seen, but they are growing and the service is as relevant in customer service capabilities as ever. With 316 million monthly active users and more than 500 million tweets per day, Twitter is doing just fine.
Social media customer service (social care) is mainstream and Twitter is one of the easiest platforms to converse and resolve concerns. Tweets targeted at leading brands’ customer service accounts increased 2.5 times over the last two years. There’s a reason Twitter just launched new features specifically related to customer service. (We’ll discuss those features more later on.)
Now that we’ve covered why you should be on Twitter, let’s discuss some specific customer-service-related benefits beyond the resolves above.
No surveys or statistics are needed to prove that the happier your customers are with your service, the more likely they are to come to you again and even pay a premium for your products or services. Nor is it a secret that happy customers are much more likely to recommend you to others.
Twitter offers an easy platform to find and rectify unfortunate encounters people have with your company. You are able to publicly and quickly resolve whatever concerns someone may have and show them and everyone else your dedication to exceptional customer service.
Directly related to customer satisfaction is the increase in sales due to happy customers. Below are a few industries that, according to a study by Applied Science, have seen increases in sales due to positive interactions on Twitter:
Twitter customer service is much cheaper and quicker than setting up call centers and requires fewer employees than traditional customer service teams. One survey by Twitter showed that “Twitter customer service can save up to 80% per interaction compared to phone call.” Even if you company or industry doesn’t fall on the high end of that statistic, you still stand to save a significant sum through customer service on Twitter.
Preferred communication method
We use our phones very little to make actual calls and that percent continues to drop. We much prefer texting and other instant messaging methods to communicate with each other and even companies. Twitter offers the ability to effectively skip the phone call (and slow email) as communication methods and get straight to the point with a company.
By avoiding social care and clinging to phone customer service, not only are you costing your business more, you’re missing conversations and opportunities to make customers happy. Customers will rant and Twitter provides a perfect platform. You can ignore the rant or you can turn it into a customer service opportunity.
One fringe benefit of using Twitter for customer service is the open API network for developers. Other social networks aren’t as open or, in the case of Instagram, are notoriously secret which limit the development of third-party tools for social listening, monitoring, and response. Many great tools exist for businesses to find and join the conversations about their brands and products or services. Simply, the technical side of customer service via Twitter is easy.
Twitter for customer service isn’t for everyone. But it can (and probably should) be for you with the right strategy and people. Check out Boostability for help with your social media presence and get a free social media consultation.