In today’s world, if someone has a question about your brand it is very likely they will turn to the internet before they pick up the telephone. Twitter has become one of the most important platforms for interacting with your consumers on the web. Good customer support on Twitter is important to customer retention, brand management, and allows you to identify emerging issues. Here are some tips to ensuring good customer support on Twitter:
1. BE RESPONSIVE, BUT NOT TOO RESPONSIVE
Many brands get hundreds if not thousands of Tweets per day with questions, complaints and praises. While all of these Tweets are important, responding to dozens of them daily could become very annoying to your followers. Here’s some types of Tweets to look out for:
- Frequently asked questions
- Tweets that do not require extended explanations
- Tweets raving about your brand
- Very angry Tweets with specific complaints
- Tweets from users with a lot of followers
Who does this well? Dell has created multiple Twitter accounts in order to manage all of their customer support demands on Twitter. They have their primary account, which discusses their brand & technology, then they have created nine additional accounts for customer support and have put them into a list.
Who does this poorly? Go Daddy responds to an overwhelming amount Tweets every day. They are very sweet and responsive to virtually everyone who Tweets at them, but this results in hundreds of Tweets per day solely dedicated to customer support. This leaves no room for Go Daddy to effectively promote themselves on Twitter, like every company should.
2. BE TIMELY Waiting days or weeks to respond to a Tweet is not acceptable. Twitter users expect everyone, including brands, to respond to them within hours. It is important to keep an eye on your mentions and direct messages and try to respond hourly. Designating one person to this task is the most effective way to make sure all of the Tweets that need to be answered are responded to in a timely fashion.
Who does this well? Home Depot is asked a plethora of questions daily, mostly including tips for home repair and complaints about products. A good percentage of the Tweets are responded to in a very timely manner with very thoughtful responses. When they do their #HDHowTo chats, the company responds with great tips within a few minutes or hours.
Who does this poorly? Amazon, as of January 26th, has not Tweeted since December 25th. They receive hundreds of Tweets daily with questions, praises, and complaints that go completely ignored.
3. DEAL WITH THE GOOD & BAD Just because someone is saying something negative about your brand does not mean that you should ignore them. Actually, that’s a pretty good reason not to ignore them. Satisfying your angry customers is just as important as praising those that are happy with your brand.
Who does this well? Starbucks does a really good job with responding to tweets both positive and negative about their brand. They stand by their name and protect their image while still dealing with users that are saying negative things about their brand.
Who does this poorly? Klipsch, a brand of headphones and speakers, does not only deal with negative Tweets poorly, they don’t deal with them at all. Every positive Tweet gets retweeted and is responded to in a timely manner while negative Tweets and questions from unsatisfied customers simply get ignored. To put it nicely, this policy sucks.