Changing gears a bit I wanted to hear from subject matter Gurus and influencers on the topic of using Twitter for Customer Service. Common sense says sales and marketing brings a consumer in and customer service is how you keep them for the long term. However, we know many firms that do not always follow this and will send consumers in circles to overseas call centers in circles.
Today I was fortunate to connect with fellow Californian, Julie Spira and hear her thoughts:
It’s wise for Companies to incorporate Twitter into their customer service plan. The best example is the recent holiday snowstorm in New York, which crippled the travel industry and many holiday plans. I was one of those who had a scheduled flight from Los Angeles to New York that week. I had a reservation on Virgin America, but It was unclear if the flight was canceled. I, along with many others, needed to know the flight status and what my options were for rescheduling. After being unsuccessful in reaching the airline by phone and being on hold for hours, I finally went to their Twitter stream to see the status. I reached out to Virgin America on their Twitter account, both in a direct message as they were following me and on their Twitter stream.
After numerous exchanges and a request for someone to call me directly, I received two inbound phone calls from Virgin to help me during this time. If it weren’t for Twitter, I would not have been able to resolve the travel issue on a very tight schedule.
An example like this needs to be utilized for businesses everywhere. Even if there isn’t a crisis or deadline, by having the ability to respond in real time, customers will be relieved that there is someone at the company who cares about them. Because of the way they handled this, I’d be more likely to fly Virgin again and recommend it to my colleagues.
As a social media expert who trains companies on their Twitter, Facebook, and blogging strategies, I stress the importance of connecting with your customers, listening to their concerns, and responding where you can. We are no longer living in a broadcast only world. With over 175 million accounts on Twitter, companies will benefit from responding much more quickly on Twitter, than by waiting to reply to an email, which often can take from 24 – 36 hours, if not more.
It’s imperative that companies have multiple customer service channels in the busy digital world we live in.
CEO, Social Media and More
By Julie Spira
Author, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web
Learn the Lead Generation Equation: Lead Generation = Branding + SEO + Social Media + Traditional Marketing + Customer Svc + PR + Landing Pages +Mobile Marketing