Good customer service is not just about quality of product/sale or after sale but also about listening to the needs of your market share, their ideas, their concerns, their opinions, being accessible to them and talking to them.
I have always argued that Twitter is about engagement and chitchat is important but as a business this chitchat should combine a customer service element. Thus for example a twitter user who was standing on the train platform waiting for her train to take her to her interview tweeted out just that, “waiting for… train to take me to my interview site” the train company picked up on this tweet and tweeted her a message “no delays expected with your train, we will get you to your destination on time” and “ good luck with your interview you will be fine” this is chit chat with a Customer service element.
Engaging with your customers is good customer service, whether it is offering your expertise, solving their problems or addressing their concerns, it is all engagement and in line with good twitter usage more importantly it is good customer service that adds value to your business.
Twitter is real time, most consumers love the idea of tweeting a concern, or rant or idea or complaint or call for help, to their bank, or their supplier or retailer or professional service provider, it is better than speaking to or spending huge amounts of valuable time on listening to automated recordings, getting lost in finding the right department or being passed to the call centre operator who doesn’t know how to deal with their concerns. Twitter users are not unreasonable people and understand that 140 characters does not always allow for ‘problem solving’ but it does allow for recognition of their problems and a means of their concern and details being forwarded to the right person who can later contact them and address their concern, complaint etc.
Making Twitter your customer focus/service tool is very permissible and indeed I would argue welcome. It is better than utilizing twitter to just broadcast or promote or sell your brand.While utilizing it for /as a customer service tool You will be engaging with your existing customers thus building a COMMUNITY of real ADVOCATES who will MARKET you and REFER/RECOMMEND your company increasing your MARKET SHARE thus aiding your company GROWTH and BRAND!
A common mistake(s) of many businesses in their use of twitter is to just broadcast, to just brazenly promote or sell or going to the opposite extreme of company community manager building a community on personal chitchat, consisting of personal views, opinions, actions etc etc, so whilst he /she builds a community it is not necessarily of any value to your business other than, the followers noting the community manager works in such & such industry for such & such an employer but says nothing of your offering or customer service as it does as of the individual who runs the twitter account.
Customer service is a concept all business owners/managers can understand and value but it is also one that in return the consumer appreciates the benefit of. Indeed the consumer although considering ‘cost’ will often set aside this consideration for the benefit of an excellent Customer service point, whether this is for the individual means, quality assurance of product/service, aftersales, guarantees, accessibility to engage/problem solve/address concerns/ideas.
The customer service point for the consumer will often rest on the ‘here & now’ element for them and twitter is a real time tool. The here & now principle should not be interpreted to mean ‘immediate problem solving’ and nor are the users of twitter so ignorant or expecting to assume it is the problem solver, but the here & now principle should be more interpreted to mean someone is listening, has accepted, is dealing with my concern right now and will pass it to the right person/dept! As a real time tool it is the perfect tool to aid customer service, delivering satisfaction, recognition, listening, accessibility, support and in consequence build you a community of supporters, advocates, referrers who will by word of mouth and the speed of virality aid your growth in return.
Mark Shaw is an Author, speaker and a champion of small businesses harnessing Twitter to crush the big boys. Mark has been using Twitter for over 3.5 years, has approx 15,500 followers, & has been on t.v, radio, published in the media and given talks all throughout the UK in his capacity as a Twitter expert. You can follow Mark on Twitter…http://twitter.com/markshaw
Mark Shaw is an award winning ex sales guy that advises and trains businesses, and individuals on how to utilise Twitter to gain more business & to be effective with their time. Mark has approx 14,500 followers, author of Twitter Your Business & has been on radio, published in the media… View full profile