Beginner Guide

Twitter for Customer Service: 7 Pro Tips and Examples

Twitter gives consumers direct access to their favorite brands. A simple mention or DM can turn into a pleasant conversation that creates a loyal customer. However, it is not a given. It all comes down to how you are using Twitter for customer service.

Support requests vary, so there is no standard answer formula that can guarantee the success of Twitter customer service. Instead, brands must build a customer service playbook to handle support requests over the network.

To help you create yours, we’ve created seven examples to show how top brands use Twitter to deliver great support to their customers. Use these as inspiration to guide your support strategy to network.

Why Use Twitter for Customer Service?

Twitter is the perfect platform for customers when they need help. It’s fast-paced, public, and ready to talk. Where people go to raise their voices.

This doesn’t mean that your support strategy should be limited to responding to troubled customer issues and resolving individual support requests. Messages that answer questions or simplify the buying process also count as customer service tweets.

When we teamed up with Twitter to uncover data-driven insights into how consumers are engaging with brands on the network, we found that:

  • 74 percent of consumers who follow brands on social media reach out to these platforms for customer service or support.
  • 1 in 3 (34%) Twitter users surveyed purchased a product or service following a positive customer experience on Twitter.
  • 53% of social media users surveyed report that they find it helpful to see how brands answer questions or resolve issues publicly.

These statistics prove that using Twitter for customer service can affect both brand perception and buying behavior. Not bad for 280 characters or less.

7 tips and examples to improve Twitter for customer service

Let’s dive into seven Twitter customer service examples from top brands that will help you create a strategy that gets people talking—in a good way!

1. Respond to Issues Quickly

Brands on Twitter are prioritizing speed and consumers are getting used to quick response times. According to our research, one in three (36%) users report receiving a response from a brand in less than an hour.

To keep your social media response times in line with consumer expectations, you must have a plan in place for monitoring brand mentions.

Here’s a great example of Petco’s quick response. A customer arrived at 12:21 p.m. on the whistle and asked about a potentially discontinued dog toy. The Petco Social customer care team came up with a possible solution in less than fifteen minutes in one fell swoop.

While it won’t always be possible to be so quick with your responses at all hours of the day, during business hours, it’s a good rule to respond to all Tweets sent within the hour and to reply to any Tweets sent later. within 12 hours.

2. Know when to take the conversation off stage

You won’t be able to solve every support issue in 280 characters. Use a growth management strategy to determine which problems need more in-depth attention.

When dealing with private information or when conversations become complex and time-consuming, it is especially important to know when to transfer conversations off the platform.

Here’s an example from Notion’s Twitter account as they help a customer dealing with an unstable app environment. After sending a few tweets back and forth, he directed the user to a support email address for additional assistance. They also request screenshots or recordings so that they can provide a better customer service experience.

Screenshot of a customer support exchange between the Notion team and a user on Twitter.  In a final message to the exchange, the Notion team invites users to share a screen recording of the problem so that they can provide better support.

It’s a good idea to compile a document with each item your Twitter support can handle, as well as where to take customers if something needs more direct or deeper attention.

You can also use Sprout Social Saved Answers Convenience to help guide your responses and the help you should give. Save text responses to your asset library to keep customer service Tweets ready. This is a great way to store links to specific resources and stylistically consistent information like product names and descriptions. Your team can then focus on building a personalized response to individual messages around this key information.

Screenshot of Sprout Social Asset Library.

3. Demonstrate Your Brand Personality When Responding to Complaints

When using Twitter for customer service, you still want to have your brand voice and personality throughout your communications. Creating engaging replies using images/GIFs/emojis can be a great way to get in touch with your roots.

Of course, whether or not this is appropriate may depend on your overall industry and the severity of the specific complaints. Be sure to include this item in your entire Twitter customer service strategy.

Take a look at this tweet from Discord, a brand that makes internet-speak a core part of its brand persona.

His response to this complaint is less formal than others, being true to his brand persona. Make sure your Twitter customer service responses are always genuine and match your brand.

4. Analyze tweets and tag common issues to provide better service

Twitter customer service isn’t just about filing customer complaints: it can also be a valuable source of business inspiration.

For example, take this interaction from Grammarly. A customer with a unique use case for Global Settings reached out to see if they could fulfill their request using an existing feature. Grammarly’s response told them that although this was not currently possible, they did give feedback to their product team.

This is a great way to let the customer know that you accept their request, even if there is no immediate solution available. It also provides their product team with meaningful user feedback that they may have otherwise missed.

If you want to streamline the internal flow of information, try Sprout’s tagging feature. With Tags, you can label and support incoming Twitter messages with custom categories like “feature request” or “product complaint.” You can detect trending issues or business opportunities as messages arrive using the Tag report.

Screenshot of Sprout Social's tag performance report.

5. Automate answers to common issues to save time

If a widespread problem is affecting many customers, chances are you’re going to hear about it from more than a few people on social. Addressing the same messages over and over is not only time-consuming – it can also lead to inconsistent responses that create even more questions than they solve.

Southern California Edison (SCE) is one of the largest utility companies in the US, covering 180 incorporated cities in 15 countries. Even a small outage can raise a ton of questions on social.

SCE uses Sprout to handle the high volume of messages it receives each week. In a recent example of their automation strategy, they use Saved Answers To keep a customer updated on the status of their request during a point of high traffic.

His team also uses the Sprouts bot builder to provide instant feedback to customers’ Twitter DMs during nights and weekends when employees aren’t immediately available. These practices keep response times short, without requiring staff for nightly and weekend support.

6. Leverage Twitter DMs

Just because your followers can’t see your DMs doesn’t mean they don’t mind. Two out of three (65%) surveyed Twitter users like when a brand takes a public tweet and DMs the customer to take it to a private space and discuss the details.

a data callout that reads "65% of surveyed Twitter users prefer when brands use DMs to get more information on support requests",

Twitter Direct Messages not only keep conversations private—they support longer messages, too. A Twitter DM can be up to 10,000 characters long, which makes it very easy to resolve complex issues. What goes on in a brand’s DM should stay between the brand and the customer, so we’ve created a mockup to show you how we manage our Twitter DMs in Sprout:

Screenshot of Sprout Social's Twitter DM prompt.

When someone contacts us privately, we send an automated message to collect some quick information about the request. From there, we connect the customer with the right person for quick and easy solutions.

7. Humanize Your Support Team

One final way to make your Twitter customer service stand out is by letting your audience know that there are real people behind the handle.

You can reach this in a variety of ways depending on the structure of your overall brand voice: you can refer to your team as ‘we’, include initials or names as a sign-off of messages, and may use conversational language when appropriate for each response.

Chipotle uses all three approaches. Their personalized responses use names, ‘us/us’ references and a conversational tone to remind customers that they are talking to a real person.

If you choose to go this route in your Twitter support strategy, don’t be afraid to use sentiment (“we’re excited about that too”) or a more personal tone (“this isn’t what we like to see”). ). Don’t just rattle off a form answer and add initials to offset the dry response.

Online customer service can be frustrating for customers who want to know they are talking to a real human being. A great way to reassure your audience is to create a reminder of the person behind the handle.

It’s Time to Start Using Twitter for Customer Service

Good customer service is the cornerstone of a positive brand reputation, so it’s time to make sure you’re as supportive as possible. These seven Twitter customer service examples should get you on your way to creating a better customer experience on the network.

Take advantage of Sprout Social’s customer service features to keep track of all brand mentions and respond accordingly. Start a free trial to see how Sprout Social can empower you to transform your customer care strategy across different platforms.

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Twitter post for Customer Service: 7 Pro Tips and Examples first appeared on Sprout Social.

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