Making Twitter Useful to Your Customers


August 18, 2016

Of all the social media platforms out there, Twitter is likely the most unique. It appears to loosely conform to a similar structure as Facebook or LinkedIn, but Twitter has one distinguishing feature. Messages you post can only include up to 140 characters. That’s only about a sentence long. This character limit shapes your entire strategy when working on the platform.

If a customer sends a tweet to your organization looking for customer service, you cannot approach the situation in the same way you would on LinkedIn or Facebook. You have to follow a new set of rules.


Responding to Customers on Twitter


Keep the Conversation on Twitter, but Move to Direct Messages

140 characters simply isn’t enough space to resolve most customer issues. However, for clarity and convenience, we recommend keeping the conversation on Twitter. Adding additional platforms can only increase the complexity and confusion.

The goal then should be to quickly move the conversation from public tweets to direct messages. There, your team can write and receive long-form messages up to 10,000 characters and find a resolution to the problem.

Twitter has recently made this easier by adding a direct message quick-link feature. Now, you can easily add a direct message link to your Tweet response. Simply inform the customer that you are here to help and that you just need them to direct message you some more information to make the interaction go more smoothly.


Keep Sensitive Information Private

A secondary benefit to direct messages is that it allows your customer to keep their sensitive information private. It only takes one retweet for that information to disseminate throughout the internet. Never divulge or request through an open tweet any of the following information:

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Username
  •  Password
  •  Address
  • Billing information
  • Transaction History


Be Personable

When you only have 140 characters to work with, it can be hard to convey the usual empathy that customer service representatives use to diffuse the situation. Unless you make a point to add personality, your tweets can very easily seem like a preprogrammed auto-response robot. Those kinds of robotic customer service tools are acceptable over the phone or perhaps through a web form, but people want to talk to people on social media.

Here’s a few tips to make your tweets seem more personable:

  • Reference information the customer provided in their tweet.
  • Add your initials to the end of the tweet to show that a real human is involved.
  • Use light humor where appropriate.
  • Tone should be based on company’s brand guidelines.


Customer Feedback Surveys

The best way to improve your customer service operation is through direct feedback from your customers. Twitter now offers a convenient way to deliver customer feedback surveys directly in a tweet. These surveys can take the form of two common formats: Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction.

Using this feedback, you can put your finger on the pulse of the customer experience and find ways to improve.


What is Twitter Best Used for?

Twitter is most often used as a news aggregator. Users log onto to twitter to keep up on the latest events, the comings and goings of channels or individuals they like, and to post their own news. For this reason, Twitter is an excellent platform to make company announcements and for by the minute updates. Keep your posts relevant and informative. For example, if your company is experiencing and outage or technical difficulty, you can keep your fan base in the know with regular updates on Twitter.

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About Mindsight

Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.

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For Further Reading

Making LinkedIn Useful to Your Customers

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