More and more companies are discovering that Twitter can be a powerful tool for capturing the voice of the customer –and responding to that voice with immediacy. Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets.
One of the biggest appeals of Twitter is that it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues quickly with short “tweets”. For example, this morning I tweeted: “Watching a bunny nibble grass and listening to birds sing as I work on my laptop from my patio this morning.” And just like that, I let 2000 of my friends know what I was doing.
But, Twitter isn’t just a cool site for personal use. Businesses can use Twitter to have conversations with customers, solve problems, and to update on promotions and products. Here, I’m featuring 3 ways companies are using Twitter for customer service and I then I’ll show you how YOU can get started using Twitter TODAY for customer service in 4 easy steps.
Zappos uses to Twitter to surprise & delight customers.
Last month I posted this tweet: “Researching Zappos service culture for ideas to help my clients. I got so excited during my research that I placed my first Zappos.com order.” And 7 minutes later I received a tweet from Zappos:
“Thanks for trying us out! I have upgraded you to one day shipping so you will get your order tomorrow.”
Zappos followed through…the next day at 9:04am, my Zappos order I arrived. I was so thrilled that I went back to Twitter a posted a praise tweet.
Cox Communications Tweets to find and fix problems.
Recently I experienced problems with my high-speed Internet. I made several calls to Cox Communications and after four days the problem persisted. Frustrated, I logged on to Twitter and posted this gripe:
“Cox Communications in Tulsa just basically told me there’s nothing they can do about my modem constantly dropping Internet!!!!” 7:23 PM Apr 7th from web.
First thing the next morning, I received the following Tweet from Cox Communications:
“If you need help getting your Internet problems resolved I’m here to help.”
8:33 AM Apr 8th from web
And the Cox tweeter did help. He sent out a tech the next business day. After the problem was fixed, I posted a praise tweet.
Southwest Airlines gets involved in conversations with customers.
Last spring BusinessWeek magazine reported that a Southwest customer experienced a two-hour delay and while waiting around the customer tweeted his displeasure. The customer was surprised to receive a Tweet from Southwest the next morning with the following message: “Sorry to hear about your flight –- weather was terrible in the NE. Hope you give us a 2nd chance to prove that Southwest = Awesomeness.” How awesome is that?
Ready to start using Twitter for customer service? Here are four simple steps to get you started, right now, on Twitter.
1. Setup a Twitter account TODAY. Go to http://www.twitter.com/ to setup your free Twitter account.
2. Start making posts. Get the conversation started by making 10-12 posts that will be relevant to your customers. Here are some examples of posts from companies:
- @Starbucks -Get ready … We’re giving away 5 $100 Starbucks Cards. We’re taking the answers on the MyStarbucksIdea blog. Question coming in 10 minutes.2:13 PM May 22nd
- @myragolden – Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer. -Macy’s Motto
- @DellOutlet- 20% off any Dell Outlet Latitude™ Laptop or Tablet PC. Enter code PHTK5R655CZZWX
- @JetBlue – We’ve started our “Live from Terminal 5” concert series at JFK. Traveling through today? That’s Dan Dyer http://www.dandyer.com performing.
3. Conduct a search on your brand. Find out what people are saying about your brand by going to http://www.twittersearch.com/. Twitter search will give you real-time search results on every single conversation on Twitter about your brand. You’ll want to conduct this search every day, several times a day.
4. Get in on conversations about your brand. If your Twitter search pulls up anything about your brand, you’ll need to respond. Remember, when Cox did a Twitter search and found my gripe, they immediately engaged me with “If you need help getting your Internet problems resolved I’m here to help.” And engaging customers really is that simple. You spot a gripe (or compliment) and then you hit “reply” and start the conversation.
You need to be right there when and where consumers talk about your brand online so you can respond in an immediate and personal way. Adopt these 4 steps for using Twitter for customer service and you’ll be on the cutting edge of serving customers through the powerful social media.
Are you monitoring online conversations about your brand? If not, why aren’t you? My blockbuster webinar, “Social Media Is the New Customer Service” will put your company on the fast-track to protecting your brand credibility by listening to online conversations. The live event has passed, but you can download the digital recording right now and watch it with everyone on your customer service and marketing teams. Here are the details: