Twitter Gaining Steam As Customer Service Platform

    April 10, 2009

We have all heard about Twitter and Dell. A customer service coup of sorts that jacked up sales with a twitter-birdclaim in December of ’08 that $ 1 million in sales could be contributed to Twitter efforts. Not bad for an investment involving employee time and probably little working capital As would be expected, other companies are now jumping on the bandwagon to provide an avenue of service that was for the most part unattainable in the very recent past.

Qwest Communications is taking this approach as noted over at MediaPost. The @TalktoQwest is monitored by 7 employees (or company reps as the article states which makes one wonder are they real Qwest employees?) 24 / 7and is designed to help aid customers in near real time regarding services like high-speed Internet, billing, pricing, technical support, and more.

The campaign was done by Room 214 out of Boulder, CO. Founder James Clark had this to say about
addressing customer concerns and providing quick feedback is the first step.

The challenge resides with integrating comments into daily processes. “Companies need to find a way to integrate the feedback in product development,” he said. “Those that do that will have extremely loyal customers for life.”

Others who have adopted this forum to aid in customer service and experience are Comcast, JetBlue, Odwalla, Starbucks and the Travel Channel. All are following the lead of Dell and others who were the earliest adopters of the social media tool. Surely more will get involved which will certainly help those who use Twitter.

Twitter themselves must be thrilled because they are now going to likely see numbers of Twitter users go up so they can access the service if they are a customer of that company.

Gregory Galant, CEO at Sawhorse Media, Brooklyn, N.Y., recently published “The Shorty Report” report, which explores how companies use Twitter for business. He talks about the online reputation monitoring aspect of Twitter as well.

Galant said a push for better customer service via Twitter has helped to diffuse sites like founded by Bob Garfield. In a post on the Web site, Garfield explains plans to put the Comcast site to rest and redirect traffic to, “where other infamously arrogant corporations will be subjected to power of aggregated rage.”

While Twitter apps are all over the place we are now seeing more and more business applications of Twitter like those use to further develop characters for TV shows. As business folks become more and more savvy could there be the possibility of Twitter generating revenue for the right to use the platform for these kinds of activities? I don’t know. I just figure that has to cross someone’s mind at Twitter at some point with all that annoying monetization talk being thrown around all the time.

The personal nature of Twitter is helping some companies get back in touch with customers and allows opportunities for other programs like offering discounts etc. Looks like we are really starting to scratch the surface of how Twitter as a business tool will impact how we all do business in the foreseeable future.