As a live platform for short, efficient and personal exchanges, Twitter has always had great potential as a customer service tool. While users turn to Twitter for all types of interactions and information, they usually only visit a brand’s Twitter page if they are consciously seeking information on a product, branded content, or answers to a troubleshooting question. In other words, users don’t usually wander to a brand’s Twitter page by chance, and often head to Twitter when they are unhappy about their experience with a brand. As a platform that receives a high percentage of customer feedback, brands have had to be very careful in how they display and manage their interactions with customers on this platform.
It’s not always a bad thing that Twitter hosts so much direct feedback for brands. If brands take advantage of the interaction it facilitates and the insight it gathers, they can help their customers feel like there is someone on the other end listening to them, creating a deeper connection between the consumer and the brand.
Recently, a customer of a major electric car manufacturer tweeted a complaint about other owners using charging stations as parking spots after they were done charging. The user tweeted: “The San Mateo supercharger is always full with idiots who leave their [cars] for hours even if already charged.” The CEO quickly replied: “You’re right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.” Within six days, the company had announced that, “for every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger, it will incur a $0.40 idle fee.” If the car is moved within five minutes, the fee is waived.”
The company was proud of its ability to go from an idea to execution in six days, and with good reason. While the speed with which they were able to implement the solution was impressive, even more impressive was the company’s ability to make such good use of Twitter as a means of establishing customer loyalty and associating the brand with the concept of personalized, on-demand service and innovation. Brands that can use Twitter to highlight positive news, interactions, and announcements instead of simply performing damage control will win big in the digital age.
Twitter also recently released a tool called “featured tweets” that makes it easier for brands to curate their Twitter pages’ look, feel, and content while delivering top customer service. Through the featured tweets tool—instead of the Twitter feed showing the last chronological posts and mentions—brands can pick up to ten tweets and a few photographs to leave up at the top of the page. This way, brands still have some control over what users see when they visit their Twitter feed, and can align it with the rest of their messaging.
And it doesn’t stop there: Twitter also released features like direct messaging, the “Provides Support” button and “Welcome Messages,” which are similar to chatbots. The platform is clearly interested in taking on a more active role in many brands’ customer service efforts, and will continue to innovate in terms of providing brands with opportunities for unscripted, genuine interaction with customers.