Does Your Company Use Twitter for Customer Service?

August 18, 2010

By Cara Brooke Schultz

At a recent conference, I was busy writing my "elite tweets" aka valuable snippets of information from the top marketing gurus in the industry, as I noticed one of our conference attendees reaching out to the ANA corporate twitter account. They needed a contact number for our live-streaming option and I was able to immediately give it to them. They thanked me, and continued to enjoy the conference. I gave myself a pat on the back for quality customer service.

Now, why did I bring this up? I recently read an article from detailing how Delta is using Twitter to respond and rectify customer complaints. The article talks about how Delta is setting itself apart by resolving customer issues on Twitter rather than simply monitoring what consumers are saying. Consumers are using social media sites to reach companies because the wait time is less. Instead of waiting on a long line at the airport, or calling the company from your hotel room and being forced to wait on hold for 15-20 minutes, writing a quick 140-character comment might get you a response in minutes.

Other airlines like JetBlue and Southwest listen to customers on Twitter but refer them to call centers or websites to settle issues. Customer service is part of JetBlue and Southwest's Twitter account but not the soul purpose.

What does your company use its Twitter account for? Is it primarily a customer service outlet, or is that just one piece of the puzzle?


comments (1)

Gary Schechner

August 24, 2010 9:40am ET

Whether you call it customer service or just customer 'attention', we're using both Twitter and Facebook to acknowledge customer experiences (both good and bad). It is proving to be invaluable for both ends of the web connection because it's now personalizing a conversation in a new channel.

Right now we get a lot of startled RT (retweets) when people realize that someone from ampm is replying or following them on Twitter and while we can't solve every sour customer experience, the fact that we're acknowledging them and trying to do better - helps restore the customers' faith in their purchase (or hopeful repeat visit).

I suspect that six months from now, MOST companies will have at least some resource dedicated to scouting the 'www' to address customer praises and complaints (akin to when every company dove into the internet and had '' added to all of their communications).

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