How to Use Twitter to Improve Customer Service

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In a recent CXweek event, Twitter Sr. Product Marketing Manager Jeff Lesser gave an interesting talk about how to use Twitter to improve customer service.

"At Twitter we like to think that we have the best platform for doing customer service," Lesser commented. "The reason we are so invested in brands doing great customer service on Twitter is because it's something we have seen evolve naturally on the platform."

What makes Twitter unique for creating a great customer experience and for doing great customer service are these 4 unique attributes:

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Twitter is Public

"Brands really love the public nature of Twitter because whenever they do great customer service, that's available for millions of people to see," said Lesser. "Users love the public nature of our platform as well, because they can hold brands accountable to providing a great experience for them. If they tweet and the brand doesn't respond that doesn't look great for the brand."

Twitter is Conversational

"The conversational nature of Twitter makes us really unique as well and creates a great customer service experience," says Lesser. "Normally when you are going to do customer service you have to find the right number to call or you have to find the email of the brand and on Twitter that's not the case. You can just go to Twitter and send out a tweet and get a response. The really amazing thing is that response may be from the brand or it may be from an expert or another user on the platform that saw your tweet and wanted to help out. The conversational nature of the platform means that anyone can jump in and converse and create a really great experience and help you resolve your issues."

Twitter is Realtime

"The realtime nature of our platform is what sets us apart," noted Lesser. "If you've ever waited on hold for 40 minutes to get help from a brand, you know how important it is to have realtime access to customer service. What makes it really unique beyond just being realtime is the asynchronous nature of our platform so a user I can send a tweet and get a response but I don't have to give up my day to get help. If it takes me 30 minutes to write back to that response, that's totally okay. This realtime asynchronous nature of Twitter creates a really great customer experience for people who want to engage with brands. For brands it creates a high satisfaction experience for their customers."

Twitter is Distributed

"As a brand when I create this really great experience it's available for million on Twitter to see, but it's also available for billions of people outside of the walls of Twitter to see because our content can be embedded into news articles and websites and mobile apps," said Lesser. "When you take the power of that distributed aspect of our platform you get the ability to turn your customer service into really great marketing."

Twitter is an Effective Brand Strategy for Customer Service

Twitter users have created customer opportunities on the platform because it simplifies the communication process for them. Brands saw that customers wanted to communicate with them and have built their customer service around that. Lesser says that literally 80% of all customer service requests are happening on Twitter. He says that "connecting with a brand on Twitter is near ubiquitous."

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In a study Twitter conducted they found that customer service satisfaction increased when a brand used Twitter and that there were increased revenue opportunities too. "There is a 19% opportunity for greater customer satisfaction for those that are best in class in doing customer service on Twitter in addition to an 18% increase in opportunities for revenue," said Lesser. "This is though effective up-selling, cross-selling and a reduction in churn that is all being. Finally, there is an 80% decrease in the cost of resolution."

"Businesses that are doing customer service on Twitter are able to get a satisfaction rating much higher than on other channels," said Lesser. "We did a survey of people who reached out to airlines and what we found was that people who tweeted out to airlines and got a response had much higher satisfaction than people who tweeted out to an airline and didn't get a response. Nearly an entire point more of customer satisfaction. These people actually had more satisfaction than people who had engaged on other channels. When we take into consideration that many of these people didn't actually get resolution they simply received a response and had nearly 10% higher satisfaction, the ability to increase customer satisfaction and create a really great customer experience on Twitter is much higher than on other channels."

Twitter also thinks that this increased satisfaction can be an opportunity to increase revenues. In the study Twitter found that if an airline responded within 6 minutes to a tweet customers would be willing to spend $20 more for that in the future.

"Many people say that customer service is the new marketing, and on Twitter that's true," said Lesser. "Twitter is 1:1 with an audience."

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