Stanley Marcus, Former Chairman of Neiman Marcus once said “Consumers are statistics, Customers are people”.  Every small business knows great customer service is crucial to expanding your business. The growth of social media has led to new and exciting ways for businesses to support customers.  Twitter with its real time communication has become an important tool for supporting customers.  Here are a few ways your small business can use Twitter to provide great customer service.

 

Respond Quickly to Customers Questions

“The longer you wait, the harder it is to produce outstanding customer service” William H Davidow, Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist

The ability to be asked questions and reply in real time makes Twitter great tool for customer service.  Don’t worry about being on Twitter all day to watch for questions. Simply, set your account to receive emails and text messages alerts when your username is mentioned. The ability to get answers and resolve problems quickly makes Twitter a great customer service option at little to no cost.

 

Address Complaints & Provide Transparency

“Customers don’t expect you to be perfect.  They DO expect you to fix things when they go wrong.”  Donald Porter, V.P. of British Airways

Twitter Customer Service Complaint

Customers are increasingly making their complaints known on Twitter

Twitter users often voice their complaints to let others know of an issue with a business.  Actually, as I am writing this I saw the following complaint show up in my Twitter feed.  Social media expert, Kim Garst publicly voiced her complaint with US Airways.  The response from US Airways was  prompt and they made an effort to resolve her problem.  This exchange is a classic example of how Twitter can be used to address customer complaints.

Twitter can also be used to address issues before they become public.  Is your website down? Did a faulty product get shipped? Confront  issues on Twitter to let your customers know you are aware of the problem and it is being corrected.  Mistakes happen but customers need to know the business is aware and cares about the problem. Providing transparency is important in creating trust between a business and its customers.

 

Recognize Praise from Customers

“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising” Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker

When your business receives praise on Twitter share it with others.  Zappos, a company known for great customer service often retweets and rewards customers who compliment them.  Retweeting happy customers is a great way to celebrate your customers and share their testimonial with others on Twitter.

Customer Service Retweet

Remember, great customer service gets talked about.  It’s much easier for happy customers to share their experience with others on Twitter then if the customer service question was answered over the phone or email.

 

Help Others and Be an Expert in Your Industry

“Always do more than is required of you.” George Patton, Former General of the United States Army

A great way to reach potential customers is to extend your expertise beyond your clientele.  Do a search on Twitter using hashtags and keywords for terms related to your industry.  Find people who are asking questions and help them resolve their issues. Proactively assisting others will help generate new customers and establish you as an expert in your industry.

How has your business used Twitter to provide great customer service?  I’d love to hear your ideas!