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, talking to them and supporting them when they have questions / issues.
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 280 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. 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. 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 & 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