Why Twitter will make you better at Customer Care

One of the big fears that stop many people from going on Twitter is that someone will say bad things about them. The problem with avoiding Twitter is that people will be talking about you whether you are there or not. And, you will never know.

It’s not all negative

  • You may even be pleasantly surprised and hear lovely things about you
  • People will be more likely to share their positive experiences about you if they can see that you have a Twitter account
  • People also make pre-sale enquiries through Twitter, which you will miss out on if you don’t have a Twitter account
  • Negative Feedback is good too
  • 95% of unhappy customers will never complain, and so, the 5% of dissatisfied customers that do complain, are like gold dust

They help you understand where problems are. You may be blissfully unaware that your customers are having problems with one of the following: your website, products, services, or other parts of the customer experience. Most customers will just leave if they feel unhappy with your service and neglected.

Negative feedback allows you an opportunity to put things right.

95% of customers whose problems were resolved quickly stated that they would buy from the supplier again. Customers who complain and are satisfied are up to 8% more loyal than if they had no problem at all (1988, John Goodman TARP).

Using Social Media for Customer Care

  • The majority of customers prefer human interaction over digital.
  • According to Accenture Strategy 2015 Global Consumer Pulse Research, 73% of UK consumers will choose a human over digital capability when seeking advice, to resolve a service issue or complaint. (I wonder if ‘digital capability’ included automated-telephone-options?) This suggests that most of your customers will speak to or email you directly, but you can’t ignore Social Media.
  • A third of Social Media users prefer Social Care to the telephone.
  • According to research by the Institute of Customer Service, complaints on Social Media increased eight-fold during 2015.

Which Social Media Platform is best for Customer Care?

Most people will ask questions, comment, and complain via Facebook. This is not surprising considering that the bulk of people use Facebook. If you have a Facebook Page, you need to respond to people there. The problem with Facebook is that people won’t always use your Business Page. If people complain about your company using their Facebook personal profile, it is almost impossible to find. The perk of people using Twitter is that tweets are public, and you can search and find all mentions of your business whether or not they use your Twitter username.

The advantage of  using Twitter for Customer Care is that:

  • Tweets are public and visible, which means you can find complaints, praise, and feedback. Anyone can watch how you respond to your customers
  • Tweets are conversational and concise
  • Testimonials or ‘Twestimonials’ can be amplified on Twitter and can be embedded into your website as social proof
  • You can have real-time conversations with customers
  • You can improve customer experience and satisfaction. A bit of humour can take customer service to a completely different level. In June 2014, a customer complained using a fish pun, which led to two fish-pun-filled hours between him and the Sainsbury’s Twitter account. The interaction was reported on news channels and in the major newspapers, resulting in a lot of positive Public Relations for Sainsbury’s. fishy punsIf you want to see the whole interaction on Twitter, here it is: https://twitter.com/teaandcopy/timelines/421628995365388288
  • You have an opportunity to get real insights into what your customers want by getting involved in discussions
  • Costs of dealing with customers can be 80% less per interaction than by phone
  • Being seen to be available for customer care means that you are also available for new enquiries and opportunities

Best Practices for Customer Care Using Twitter

Unless you have a high volume of customer enquiries via Twitter, I would recommend that you deal with customer care on your main Twitter account. Most small businesses that I’ve worked with find managing a single Twitter account enough of a challenge. There is a chance that if you set up a separate account, and it doesn’t have much activity, that you won’t check it on a daily basis.


Believe it or not, 40% of Tweets to customer service accounts don’t get a response. 81% of consumers do not recommend a brand to their friends if the brand did not respond to their enquiries. Enough said.

Respond quickly

People expect a response quickly from Social Media. They may be more forgiving if they know you are a small local business, but only responding during business hours may lead to lost opportunities and frustrated customers. If someone asks you a question, and you take 24hrs to respond, there is a good chance that they will already have a response. From a competitor!

Be human

If you are using your company account with a business logo, sign each of the Tweets with your name so that the person knows that you are a human being, and use informal language. According to Twitter’s research: 83% of customers with personalised interaction felt satisfied with their customer service experience on Twitter, and 77% were likely to recommend the brand to others.

Empathise with your customer

Match the language and tone of the Tweet. Although, if they are shouting (all capitals), I don’t suggest you shout back,

Match the language and tone of the Tweet. Although, if they are shouting (all capitals), I don’t suggest you shout back, but you can add an exclamation mark.

Solve their problem or move them offline

So that you can have a proper conversation. I’m lucky that I’ve been blogging for a long time, so a lot of the questions that I’m asked, I’ve already written a blog about. It is easy for me to share a link to answer the question. If people ask you the same question a few times, it is useful to create content to help answer the query. It is important that you are seen to respond, so make sure that even if you have their contact details and give them a call, you also respond on Twitter. A simple Tweet, saying something like, I’m giving you a call, or, I’m sending you a DM, will reassure observers that you are dealing with their problem.

Make it easy for people to send you a private message

Consider making your Direct Messages available to anyone if you get many customer service tweets, or you need confidential information from your customers. This allows people to send you private messages without having to wait for you to follow them.

What are your thoughts about using Twitter for Customer Care? Leave a comment below.

This is an extract from Nicky Kriel’s new book “Converting Conversations to Customers: The Essential Guide to Social Media Sales Success”,  You will find the book available on Amazon or any online book retailer or contact Nicky directly to speak about how to use Social Media for your business.

Nicky Kriel

Nicky Kriel is a Social Media Coach, Trainers, Speaker and Author. She is passionate about inspiring, educating and empowering business owners to use Social Media to grow their businesses. She uses her background in corporate marketing to help companies integrate social media into their own marketing and business strategies. As a Master NLP Practitioner, communicating is her strength, teaching people to engage with the ‘social’ aspect of social networking; it’s not all about tools and technology, but about people and relationships. Based in Guildford, she has worked with businesses ranging from solopreneurs to multinationals, helping them build, develop and implement relevant social media strategies. As a self-confessed technophobe, jargon is minimal, with practical advice and guidance being the focus. Nicky has published a book, “How to Twitter for Business Success” with a series of further titles planned, and runs online courses and webinars on social media. She offers bespoke in-house training and Social Media Strategy consultations. Born and raised in South Africa, Nicky made the UK her home and has lived in Surrey for over 20 years. She has three children.

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