Strategies to Handle Customer Service over Twitter
Now that businesses are starting to embrace Twitter, there have been some fascinating examples of great customer service. Ford Motor Company is helping customers find parts, solving problems with accessories, and escalating customer service requests. Comcast appears to be the Gold Standard with their Comcast Cares account which is solving customer problems with equipment, answering questions about service features. Bloggers are also helping companies by raving about great experiences.
Despite these great examples, if your leadership is pushing you to use Twitter for customer service, the worst possible thing you can do is jump on the background without some careful thought. Sit down with your leadership and have a strategic discussion around these specific areas:
Can we scale it?
- Be Prepared For A Flood – We all know Twitter is growing very rapidly, and as more people learn about great Twitter customer service, you can count on more requests for service.
- 24 Hours; 7 days – Companies that don’t have this staffed around the clock with clear processes and control will suffer as customers rush to the site.
Who will own it?
- Not the Social Media Team – The Social Media team often start this process and are stuck with owning it as it grows. Good customer service over Twitter depends on fast responses to customer problems. But, because the organization considers Twitter to be “social media” (read: confusing), the responsibility for managing these usually falls to the team handling social media.
- Integrate into Customer Service – Ideally, customer service should own the process, staff for it, and tie metrics to it. Ideally, this means 24 hours, 7 day a week coverage, a dedicated team of individuals, and clear metrics integrated with the rest of the customer service.
Can we handle the truth?
- Get Ready for Negativity – Every executive will tell you that they are ready and willing to hear what their customers have to say, until they actually hear it. By committing your business to open customer service through Twitter, you are tying your name directly to negative customer feedback.
- Manage Your Brand – Tying your brand to both positive feedback and negative feedback can aggravate your Brand Managers. The millions of dollars spent on advertising and promotion can be compromised by a few snarky Tweets and a well-written blog.
It doesn’t surprise me that many major companies like Microsoft aren’t fully using their Twitter accounts. Sure, it can be powerful, but if not managed correctly, 140 characters can destroy years of successful marketing.
In: Leadership and Management, Strategy · Tagged with: customer service, Leadership and Management, Twitter