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5 Tips for Using Twitter for Customer Service

A few months ago I went over the 5 Reasons Your Business Should be Using Twitter. Hopefully by now you’ve at least set up an account and begun getting familiar with the platform. The next step is to start harnessing the power of this global network to benefit your business. One of the best ways to do so is to use Twitter to handle a good portion of your customer service activities. Here are 5 tips on how to do so effectively.

Tip #1 – Claim Your Brand

You may already have a personal Twitter account, but when it comes to engaging with people about your business, it’s much more professional to do so with your business account. Create a branded persona, complete with your logo, and use it to respond to comments, share news about your company, offer discounts or retweet relevant content from other sources that your audience may find useful.

Tip #2 – Keep an Eye on What’s Being Said

Not everyone who is unhappy with your products or service is going to call or email you directly to complain. Instead, what many people do is spout about their bad experience through social media channels. It’s important that you know what’s being said about your business (even if it’s bad) so that you can understand how you’re doing and use the feedback to better serve your customers. Whenever possible, feel free to chime in and join the conversation to establish your presence and let people know you’re listening.

Tip #3 – Respond Quickly and Professionally

Answer questions, comments and complaints about your brand as quickly as possible. Sometimes just showing the commenter that you’re listening and you care about their opinion will be enough to pacify them. If not, apologize and try to offer positive solutions, such as a voucher, discount or free gift. Remember – Twitter is a public forum and everything you put in a tweet can be seen by others so avoid arguing or lashing out defensively. (Check out my previous post on how to deal with an angry customer for some more tips.) If necessary, bring the conversation offline by sending an email. Above all, be sure to position your brand in a positive, professional light at all times.

Tip #4 – Delegate

If your business is large enough, you may find it easier to handle your Twitter activity by delegating it to one or more members of your team. There are a number of online tools, such as Hootsuite, that allow you to set up multiple users that can Tweet under your brand, conduct more defined searches and schedule tweets to be posted at future intervals. By spreading the duties out and sharing the work, it’s much more manageable.

Tip #5 – Provide Value

The main purpose of using Twitter for business is to expand your network and reach more prospects, which is done by gaining followers. In order to get (and more importantly, keep) quality followers, it’s critical that you provide some sort of value. Interact with your followers, respond to their tweets, and share content that they would find helpful (not just yours). The more helpful your followers view your business, the more likely they will be to spread the word about it.

With millions of active users, Twitter can be an incredibly powerful tool to help your business reach more customers and solidify long-lasting, loyal relationships with existing ones. These five tips will help you develop an effective strategy to use Twitter for customer service and engagement in a way that will position your business as a leader in your industry and get the results you want.

posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 7:41 PM