It’s become something of a trend for U.S. consumers to share their thoughts about the customer service they have received -- good and bad --through social media. That said, the NICE/BCG 2016 Consumer Experience Report shows that many consumers are starting to have doubts about whether or not social media platforms alone are a way for brands to address their issues.
Certainly, some customer service responses on social media have been subpar in recent years, but customers still rely on these services. According to the Twitter blog, some advertisers report that 80 percent of customer feedback is provided through Twitter. And because Twitter recognizes that social media has the potential to be a powerful customer service tool for brands, the company has recently released new tools that make managing this feedback even easier.
Twitter rolls out a new customer feedback tool.
A few weeks ago, Twitter unveiled several new tools for global brands, the most important of which was aptly named "Customer Feedback." How does it work?
Customer Feedback allows brands to privately solicit feedback from customers, who can take advantage of the tool after initiating a conversation with their favorite brands. There are a few reasons this feature improves over previous customer feedback options on Twitter:
Brands can ask customers to participate in surveys using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) formats.
Brands can easily store data from their customer service responses.
Brands can deliver customized replies to express gratitude to participating customers.
Though the Customer Feedback tool isn’t available to the general public just yet, brands should still familiarize themselves with it, as Twitter will start opening it up to select businesses over the next month, and allow other companies to enroll after any user bugs are resolved. If your company wants to be an early adopter, contact the Twitter Help Center for more information.
Several brands laud new customer feedback solutions.
Although the new tool has only just been announced, brands are already expressing strong support for it. Greg Cannon, vice president of Digital at Caesars Interactive, says he's confident the service will be invaluable for his company’s customer-service team: “Twitter is the go-to network for our digitally-connected guests,” he said. “Understanding customer satisfaction in relation to the service we’re giving on social is incredibly important to Caesars, and we’re excited to embrace these two features, to facilitate that understanding.”
Joshua March, founder and CEO of Conversocial; Dmitry Ozik, co-founder of HighYa; and Elizabeth Closmore, global head of Product Evangelism and Partnerships at Sprinklr, have also spoken highly of Twitter’s ability to improve customer-service capabilities.
How will brands benefit from customer feedback?
Twitter expects that its new tool will transform customer service for brands across the world. Here’s why that claim could very well be true:
Will deliver more timely customer service to thousands of customers. According to Twitter, four out of five people make customer service reports through the company's service; so, whether brands prefer to interact with people through social media or not is irrelevant. They must reply in a timely manner or risk alienating those customers.
Yet existing customer service options on social media are inadequate for many brands. Large businesses can receive hundreds or even thousands of direct messages or replies every day, and separating unimportant messages from customer service requests can be difficult.
The new Customer Feedback tool, however, will allow brands to organize all their customer service responses in one area, enabling them to more easily manage them and provide more timely feedback to their customers.
Will reduce customer service costs. Customers who don’t receive responses through Twitter have to follow up through another channel, often winding up contacting call centers as a second resort.
Unfortunately, call centers are a much more expensive way to deal with feedback. One report from the Harvard Business Review found that brands can serve customers through social media for 20 percent of the cost of a call center. Transitioning to social-media management of customer inquiries could result in big savings for savvy businesses.
Start getting your upgraded customer service ready ready to go.
A solid customer service model is one of the most important factors in a company’s growth. In fact, it’s one of the reasons businesses such as Gainsight are so successful. While the tool isn’t immediately available to all brands, Twitter has shared enough information for you to start strategizing. Here are some good practices that you’ll want to follow as you prepare to get started:
Seek concise answers. In August, Twitter removed the 140-character limit for direct messages. Since customer feedback with Twitter's new tool will be provided through direct messages, customers have all the space they need to elaborate on their experiences with your brand. However, you should still ask questions that can be answered in a couple of sentences.
Reading customer feedback takes time. You’ll be able to process it much more quickly if you ask direct questions that allow for short responses.
Brainstorm 3-to-5 questions. The general rule of thumb is to limit customer surveys to 10 questions, though you’ll want to consider using even fewer questions on Twitter’s Customer Feedback platform. People tend to have a much shorter attention span on social media, and it’s important to show that you respect their time.
Craft professional replies. Twitter allows you to send follow-up replies to customers who participate in your surveys, though you should avoid issuing a generic reply, such as: “Thank you for your response! Your feedback is important to us.”
Instead, use the space to reassure your customers that you’re addressing their concerns. Tell them how long it will take you to follow up and give additional resources that may help them in the meantime.
Put it all together, and you’ve got a recipe for customer service success on social media!
How will Customer Feedback affect your business’s customer service model? Leave me a note sharing your feedback in the comments section below