We Asked Twitter How To Deliver Customer Service On Twitter

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More than eight years after the first 140 character message was posted on Twitter, many businesses are still trying to get a handle on how to use the service as a way to connect with customers.

Happy Customer recently talked with Mike De Jesus, head of the travel vertical at Twitter. His team is responsible for evangelizing Twitter’s platform and sharing paid and organic best practices to marketers in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries across the US.

SEE OUR EARLIER INTERVIEW WITH MIKE DE JESUS

As businesses continue to try to build a Twitter strategy, we asked De Jesus for some best practices Twitter provides to brands when they inquire about delivering great customer service via Twitter.

See answers and examples from De Jesus below.

Be human. People like communicating with brands, a unique opportunity for brands on Twitter. Show off your brand’s voice and personality – customers like to know that they’re connecting with a person, and not a corporation.

Be …

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Twitter Reportedly Nears Deal with Stripe for Ecommerce Initiative

“Twitter could become the Web’s next shopping mall. The short-messaging service is edging towards allowing users to purchase goods directly through the site, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans. The San Francisco company is near to reaching a deal with hometown payments processor Stripe to help facilitate the e-commerce initiative, this person said. The move would be its first major initiative since bringing former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard on board as its new head of commerce in August. Hubbard is still building his team. Twitter’s promoted-ad products have become a draw for retailers, especially around “flash sales” events. But Twitter hasn’t introduced shopping features, and details of what the purchase experience might look like are unclear.” [Source: The Wall Street Journal]

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Airlines Turn to Twitter To Reach Customers During Severe Weather

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, especially when it’s blowing brutally off of Lake Michigan or the Long Island Sound. And this week is turning out to be brutal if you’re trying to run an airline or use one to get from one place to another in the U.S. and Canada. From American Airline’s freezing equipment in Chicago, to Delta’s skidding plane in New York, toJetBlue’s complete shutdown across the Northeast, it’s a terrible week to be flying. How do you let hundreds of thousands of customers know you’re feeling their pain? Take to Twitter, of course: They’re already there venting their frustrations. Depending on the airline, it can provide an efficient way to deal with some customer service issues.” [Source: Skift]

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Change Must Happen Before Social Customer Service Can Scale

“Recently someone tweeted me asking about current costs of phone calls versus the cost per Tweet for customer service. Ugh! This is new media and yet we’re already focusing on old metrics. The truth is that the service world has been broken for years because of the emphasis of handle time or calls per hour. Companies do not want to talk to you, and it shows. The fact is most do not want to Tweet with you either. Since they are worried about brand sentiment, they may appease you to shut you up. In order for social media service to scale, change MUST happen.” [Source: Forbes]

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Conversocial Report Highlights Need for Top Retailers to Improve Service Over Twitter, Facebook

“Best Buy Co. Inc. leads other online retailers when it comes to responding to—and resolving—shoppers’ customer service issues posted on Facebook and Twitter, according to a new report from social media customer service vendor Conversocial Ltd. [...] The Conversocial report found that 20% of the retailers in the study failed to respond to shoppers on Facebook and 19% didn’t reply on Twitter. [...] The report also found that only 50% of the retailers fully resolved customer service issues within Facebook and Twitter instead of redirecting customers to other channels, such as e-mail or phone.” [Source: Internet Retailer]

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Warby Parker’s Customer Service Secret

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There was a short time when using social media for customer service made you an innovator.

Now, while it’s becoming table-stakes, there’s still an opportunity to leverage social media to take your customer service to a new level.

Warby Parker, the industry disrupting seller of stylish, affordable eyewear, noticed fewer customers were using their 1-800 number and more were turning to Twitter to pose questions. But, Warby Parker found it difficult to answer complicated questions, such as those about prescriptions, given Twitter’s 140 character limit.

Looking for a way to interact with that customer outside the constraints of Twitter, the company’s social media team started shooting videos of themselves answering questions, uploading the videos to YouTube and replying to customer’s tweets with a link to the video.

Something unexpected happened. Warby Parker found that customer service tweets that included a video were retweeted 65 times more frequently than other tweets from …

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STELLA Stats

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In the month of July, STELLAService analysts found that the top computer/electronics retailers answered customer service tweets within twelve hours less than half the time. On the heels of a recent STELLAService study on Twitter, this shows that some of the biggest retailers have yet to perfect their service practices, especially in the social space.

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Online Consumers Using Social Want Companies to Listen and Respond

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In an age when tweets and likes echo loudly through cyberspace, one Maritz study has found that consumers still prefer using direct channels of feedback, namely email and phone, to settle their customer service needs.

Nonetheless, consumers remain aware of the opportunities for public feedback, like Facebook and Twitter, and frequently use them in order to submit complaints or ask questions. The study from the marketing research firm also found that age is closely tied to these preferences and, unsurprisingly, that the younger generation (ages 18-34) exhibit the highest affinity towards leveraging social media platforms as avenues to connect with brands.

The survey, conducted in April 2012, questioned 1,400 people about their awareness of and preferences towards the various ways to get in touch with companies both online and off. It also investigated what types of expectations consumers have following the initial contact.

In all, consumers showed a marked preference for direct …

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Burberry Gets Animated To Celebrate Millionth Twitter Follower

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Burberry, a highly regarded traditional luxury brand, has chosen an untraditional way to celebrate its millionth Twitter follower.

Playing to a new digital savvy customer, Burberry tweeted a thank you letter in the form of a GIF animation at 3,000 followers. The animation features a notecard with the hashtag “#ThanksAMillion” written in the penmanship style of iconic Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey, backdropped by a rainy London day…the kind of day that begs for a Burberry trench coat.

It’s no surprise to us here at STELLAService to hear Burberry is making an effort to wow customers. The company has earned the STELLAService EXCELLENT rating for its customer service practices.

The British clothier rarely tweets at specific people, so such a personal thank you is a bit out of the norm. But it’s all part of creating a great customer experience, a goal that Burberry has always taken seriously, helping position them as one of the world’s leading luxury …

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Most Customer Service Tweets Go Unanswered Within 24 Hours

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If you’re hoping to get a customer service question answered via Twitter, there are two retailers among the top 25 that are 100% reliable, a STELLAService study found.

STELLAService analysts tweet customer service questions to the top online retailers each day. Looking at those interactions, it’s clear that most top online retailers have yet to commit to Twitter as a channel for addressing customers’ questions.

But two retailers – Zappos.com and LLBean.com – replied to 100% of daily customer service questions posted to Twitter by STELLAService analysts in a recent 45-day study of the top 25 online retailers. It’s an impressive accomplishment considering the average for replies within 24 hours was just 44% across the top 25 online retailers.

What’s more, six of the 25 retailers didn’t reply to any of our analysts’ customer service inquiries over the same period, a service decision that could be costing those retailers sales. The recent American Express Global …

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