Is Twitter the Key to Modern Customer Service? Trends and Benefits

Of all the social media platforms used nowadays for customer engagement, Twitter is arguably the most conversation-centric. Unlike other social media sites, Twitter focuses on real-time interactions and moves fast, resembling traditional chat but bearing the special features which have made it so massively popular and effective: hashtags for better searching and communication, easy picture and video attachments, and customized settings for building a great aesthetic experience and even scheduling tweets. Many companies took notice at its outset, embracing the potential of this platform for customer service when it was first unveiled. And now Twitter itself has recognized its own soaring success as a customer service tool, recently publishing a best practices guide for brands to further fuel their success on the platform as well as offering new data products and functionality to support brands on their customer service journeys.In what ways is Twitter transforming driving brand success and transforming the customer service experience? Here are seven telling points that illustrate its strengths as a customer service tool.It delivers personalized, real-time customer service. Social media in general tends to be personalized, but other sites don’t move as fast as Twitter and therefore do not offer the same potential for conversation that customers often demand when they need service. Customers want quick and efficient service, but they also want a dialogue with a real person who can help them. Twitter’s real-time nature allows customer service representatives to deliver a personalized experience and respond as quickly as the tweets come in. Some companies have also found it very useful to run multiple Twitter accounts for different departments or even different regions if they have a global presence. This allows greater focus on individual cases and ensures that customers are directed to the right place without wasting time. Many brands have cited greater success upon establishing a separate account just for customer service or customer recommendations, allowing for better organization and service. Twitter essentially allows for a continuous conversation with both current and potential customers.It’s extremely cost-efficient. Traditional voice calls are very costly to contact centers, so social media instantly cuts costs when used for customer engagement. Twitter specifically reports that the platform costs only one-sixth the cost of a call, or savings of up to 80% per interaction compared to phone calls.It’s a high-demand channel proven to give customer satisfaction. According to the Twitter playbook for customer service, tweets targeted at major brands’ customer service Twitter accounts have increased 2.5 times over the past two years with the potential for 97% customer satisfaction (as cited by McKinsey & Company). Indeed, 85% of customers who have a positive customer service interaction are likely to recommend a brand to others, and many companies have reported that Twitter has played a key role in customer satisfaction. Social listening tools and advanced data products provide valuable insight and metrics. Social listening tools as well as Twitter’s new suite of data products and functionality provide valuable insight into customer behavior and analytics critical to sales and marketing strategies. Such metrics allow for new sales opportunities as brands are able to proactively engage customers, analyzing tweets to better understand customer needs and create marketing opportunities to both attract and retain customers. Companies may observe topic trends across tweets, the degree of customer service team responsiveness, and consumer behavior to devise strategic business approaches and gain brand loyalty.It enables proactive customer service. The combination of analytics providing insight into customer behavior and real-time interactions enables customer service agents to proactively engage customers—both current and potential. If many customers are tweeting about the same technical issue, for example, analytics will allow brands to resolve the problem while proactively monitoring products and services to prevent further issues. Brands can also tweet resolutions to problems or make announcements regarding sales, and social listening tools can also provide brands with information about what potential customers are looking for. If a Twitter user poses a question about finding a hotel in Paris, for example, social listening tools can provide such data to a hotel’s customer service Twitter account and create a marketing opportunity. Potential customers can quickly become new customers. It gives brands increased visibility and connects to a wider audience. Like all social media platforms, Twitter amplifies the visibility of a brand but is able to do so at a faster pace and with an ever-growing user base. At the moment, there are over 300 million active monthly Twitter users, and McKinsey & Company found that companies that use Twitter for customer service can resolve over 95% of cases on the channel. The potential for customer service is steadily growing, with the Twitter playbook for customer service citing a 68% increase in the number of U.S. adults using Twitter for customer service in 2014.Reduced customer churn = brand loyalty. With high customer satisfaction rates on the social platform, the churn rates for brands steadily decreases. And with each customer retained, a company can count one more brand advocate. Given Twitter’s large user base, satisfied customers who tweet their content feelings are able to promote a positive brand image on a massive scale as they voice their loyalty and likely attract new customers to their favorite brands.Like all social media sites, Twitter bears great potential for offering excellent customer service, attracting new customers, and gaining brand loyalty. However, its conversational nature, unique social features, and new advanced data products offer unique ways for companies to understand customers, drive sales, and revolutionize the customer service experience. Learn about the Vocalcom social customer service solution for Twitter.

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