I don’t know about you, but I hate calling a company’s 800 #. There’s that long wait, that awful hold music, and finally, that wonderful moment when someone answers and they:
a) accidentally hang up on you
b) have attitude from the word “hello”
c) ask you to give a ton of personal info before you’ve even said “hello”
d) are as insightful as a box of hair
e) transfer you to someone else because they’re not the right department
f) or maybe, just maybe, are decent to talk to, but you are still on the phone with them forever
I got news for you.
Your clients are looking for a quicker, better answer.
They want to be able to resolve customer service problems quickly and they want to do it on Twitter.
If you don’t have a customer service department set up on your Twitter account, well, what are you waiting for? It’s a vital step in improving relations with your clients. If a client can get a problem solved in a few seconds on Twitter, instead of a half-hour or more on the phone, that client will feel really positive about the whole experience and your company in particular, plus it will make it that more likely they’ll recommend you to friends and family. And: other folks on Twitter may see the conversation, and they’ll be impressed you solved a customer’s problem so quickly. Win-win-win.
That being said, sometimes, customer relations on Twitter can go very wrong. I once had a medicine company contact me on Twitter after I complained about an issue. I ranted on Twitter that they ruined my night’s sleep and then the company asked me if I would share my experience with them. Why? I knew I was never going to use that product again. If a client is upset about your product, and you can’t fix the problem, there’s no point in contacting them on Twitter, or anywhere else for that matter. But if you can fix the issue, by all means, use Twitter to do so. Offer free store credit, apologize, ask what you can do to make it better, etc. With customer service, it’s all about using common sense and asking yourself what you would like if you were that customer. They want a nice, friendly person to talk to and the problem resolved fast so they can get on with their lives. It really isn’t that hard.