How to Use Twitter for Customer Service

Every day people are talking about you and your company. Sometimes those people have trouble with your service. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could overhear those conversations and jump in and help out?

That is where Twitter.com offers you an opportunity to save the day.

What is Twitter

Think of Twitter as a water cooler where folks gather to talk about what is on their mind. This video covers the basics of Twitter and how it works:

Additionally, a recent Wall Street Journal article explains how Twitter works and its associated lingo.

Once you’re up to speed on the basics, sign up for an account at twitter.com and get started.

Set Up Your Profile

If you are representing your company, your Twitter user name should be that company name. Also include your company name in your profile. It helps to link to your Twitter account from your official website as well so folks know you are authentic.

Listen

You can search all the conversations that are happening on Twitter with the right tools.

I like Monitter.com where you can see real-time updates of tweets that mention keywords you monitor.

Twitter.com has a built-in search function which is also useful for finding relevant messages that pertain to your company or industry. You can even search for people specifically.

Respond

Using Twitter for customer service requires you go beyond just monitoring. You need to take action. When you find a relevant message:

  • Acknowledge the problem
  • Fix the problem or give instructions on how the customer can correct issue
  • It is OK to take the conversation outside of Twitter. You may want to acknowledge publicly what you will do but then jump into more details via a direct message or engage the customer through other channels to resolve the issue completely.

Good Examples

More and more companies are jumping into Twitter everyday. Here are some great lists of companies that have Twitter accounts:
blog.fluentsimplicity.com/twitter-brand-index
buzzmarketingfortech.blogspot.com/2008/12/brands-that-tweet.html
Directory of companies on Twitter

While many companies use Twitter, there are some gems that are excelling in using it for customer service. Check out these profiles and how they interact with customers:

Take Action Today

Your customers are waiting to hear from you. Join the conversation and make a difference.

More Reading

Twitip.com offers a great article on building your company’s community on Twitter.

Chris Brogan shares 50 ideas on using Twitter for business that can help you get started and overcome the naysayers.

You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/joerawlinson.

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  • http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/customer-service/10783-1.html Glenn

    Outstanding post, Joe. I’m still trying to figure out how we can use Twitter in the non profit sector and this helps.

    Regards,

    Glenn

  • http://www.returncustomer.com Joe Rawlinson

    One local Austin nonprofit that is very active on Twitter is the Lance Armstrong Foundation. You can follow them here:
    http://twitter.com/livestrong

  • http://www.bizcoachdeb.com/blog Deb Kolaras

    What a terrific, easy to implement plan for those pensive or worried whether Twitter is right for their business. Thank you!

  • http://www.returncustomer.com Joe Rawlinson

    Deb,

    Thanks for your comment and the link on Twitter.

  • http://www.neptuneplumbing.net Neptune Plumbing

    Great post. We’re trying to begin using Twitter, Facebook, etc. for our business and these are some great things to consider. Thanks.