Twitter recently opened up a new dashboard of tools for businesses using Twitter for customer support.
For as long as Twitter has existed, people have used this channel as a way to communicate with brands, and in particular to vent their anger when things don’t work out the way they should.
This is great, but depending on the size of the business and the type of industry you’re in, you could be opening up a can of worms. (Literally, I bet someone has done this).
Telecommunications and energy suppliers in particular will receive hundreds, if not thousands of these tweets per day. And if you don’t quickly respond and take the conversation offline, it has the potential of going viral.
Back in September, Twitter announced a new dashboard for businesses to help them use the channel for providing customer service. It’s completely free to use and technically you can sign up to use the features even if you’re not a business.
Customer support Twitter features include:
Add support hours to your Twitter profile
People don’t care if you’re only 9-5, they will tweet you at all hours and expect a response straight away. Most businesses aren’t equipped to handle enquiries 24/7, but that doesn’t stop the complaints. If you take a quick look at some of your favourite brands on Twitter and if you find an unanswered (out of hours) tweet, you can sometimes see a follow up tweet less than 5 minutes later asking “where is the answer?”.
With this new feature you can simply add your office hours to your Twitter profile. You can select weekdays, weekends and set hours etc, or you can display that you’re 24/7. It’s entirely up to you.
Allow anyone to direct message (DM) your brands
Typically you can only direct message people if you’re following each other. However, with this feature you can allow anyone to message you regardless. It saves people having to ask you to follow them back etc in order to do so and will make them less P***ed off.
It also adds a “Message” call to action to your Twitter profile, which prompts people to send you a DM instead of tweeting their complaint publicly.
Add a welcome direct message
Even if you’re not online answering tweets at 2AM, you can automatically send direct messages to people that click to message you. This serves as a holding message if you can’t respond straight away. It’s a great way to ‘respond’ to a customer without actually responding, and it can surprisingly calm people down while they wait for a response. There is nothing worse than staring at a blank screen waiting.
Monitor responses in your Twitter dashboard
This is more than just about monitoring for @mentions and engagements.
When people tweet about brands, they don’t always include the @username of the account, so you could potentially be missing out on tons of mentions about your business. We’re not just talking about the bad stuff either, people can tweet positively too, you know.
This feature displays a stream of @mentions, but it allows you to customise it with non @mention results too.
Set-up additional feeds
As well as the main streams of @mentions and brand mentions outlined above, you can add additional feeds to your dashboard. You can add additional lists to monitor product and service mentions etc, basically anything you want.
Don’t forget the basics
If your customer service strategy does involve using Twitter, just remember the basics still apply to this platform. Respond politely and quickly, and have a plan in place to deal with customer feedback (good or bad). People still want answers, no matter if they’re engaging with you face to face or online.
You can access the new Twitter business dashboard here > https://dashboard.twitter.com