Twitter Gives Businesses Helpful New Customer Service Tools

Chris CrumBusiness

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Study after study has shown that businesses are really bad at social media customer service. There are certainly exceptions, but on the whole, businesses just suck at responding to people on Facebook and Twitter. Both social media platforms have introduced a variety of tools to help change that in recent month, and now Twitter has even more.

What would it take for businesses to truly get better at Twitter customer service? Share your thoughts in the comments.

One of the new tools is a new way to start a direct message.

As product manger Ian Cairns explains, "Direct Messages are a great way for customers to have a private conversation with a business. Customer service conversations often start in Tweets, but then need to transition to a private channel when personal information is required. We’re making that transition as easy as a single click. A business can now add a deep link to their Tweets that automatically displays a call to action button, which allows the customer to send the business a Direct Message, quickly and easily."

Here's what that looks like:

Twitter says some brands have already had access to the feature and have been creating a better experience for customers.

Last summer, Twitter removed the 140-character limit from direct messages. At the time, talked about how this would be tremendously helpful for customer service, and now Twitter is pushing the DM even more for that purpose. As I wrote at the time:

Giving customers a better way to engage with businesses in private should go a long way toward making Twitter a more effective customer service channel for both businesses and customers alike. While some people are not shy about airing their grievances in public, others just won't do that, and have legitimate concerns that they'd like to get handled without an audience. Much of the time, these concerns probably take more than 140 characters to adequately explain. Sure, you could always send multiple messages, but that just adds friction to the experience.

Twitter is also now letting users record and share videos in Direct Messages. This could probably help a great deal in customer service situations that require visual aid:


The second new customer service-specific tool is a feature called Customer Feedback. This lets people privately share their opinions with a business after a service interaction.

"Care teams have told us they love the open-ended feedback they get from people via Tweets and Direct Messages, but they also need the ability to survey customers in a structured way to better measure and improve their service experience. Customer Feedback makes it easy for customers to share their feedback with a business after a customer service conversation," says Cairns. "With this feature, businesses will be able to use two industry standard question formats: Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)."

Check that out:

The DM deep links work now, and the customer feedback feature will roll out to select brands over the coming weeks. It's unclear when it might be more widely available.

Twitter has partnered with Conversocial, Hootsuite, Lithium, Salesforce, Spredfast, Sprinklr, Sprout Social, and Sparkcentral to make the tools available in their existing customer service workflows. Twitter is also working with Delighted so their businesses can view NPS surveys collected on Twitter alongside feedback from other channels.

According to Twitter, millions of customer service-related interactions happen on the platform every month and many advertisers report that over 80% of their inbound social customer service requests happen on Twitter.

Will any of Twitter's new customer service features help your business better deal with customers? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Images via Thinkstock, Twitter

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.