Twitter and Customer Service

How Social Media Affects Businesses

Have you ever found yourself complaining to a retailer via Twitter when their website wouldn’t process your discount coupon code? Or when your airline suddenly delayed your flight by 3 hours? Well, you’re not the only one.

Twitter For Customer Service

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A recent study by Socialbakers has discovered that 59% of all inbound customer requests through social media channels are being made through Twitter. With 30% of companies on Twitter establishing separate handles devoted to customer care, it’s clear the micro-blogging site is changing the way businesses think about social media and customer service.

So why do customers have the urge to tweet their frustrations? For starters, Twitter rants have the potential to go viral. If a problem isn’t addressed quickly, it can be broadcast to countless followers. If that happens, a company may have a hard time recovering. With their reputations on the line, businesses tend to respond faster on Twitter than most other platforms. The average response time for a customer service tweet is about 5 hours, with 10% of companies answering within an hour. With statistics like that, it’s no wonder more and more customers are heading to Twitter to vent.

If you own a business, don’t be afraid of embracing the “Social Customer Service” movement. We’ve got some social media marketing advice to help you and your business create stellar customer service with Twitter.

Tips For Improving Customer Service with Twitter:

If you’ve had a customer complain about your company on Twitter, don’t fear! Keep in mind, a negative experience can be turned into an opportunity to win a customer over. Just ask the gentleman who found American Airlines held a connecting flight for him after he sent a desperate tweet. Now that’s customer service!

  1. Respond Quickly: Not every business can afford to pay someone to man a twitter account 24/7, so just try to respond as soon as you identify a problem. Within a few hours is best.
  2. Apologize: Even if you aren’t at fault, ask how you might be able to help. Whatever you do, don’t be passive-aggressive! It’s tempting to say, “We’re sorry you feel that way,” but that will only come off as demeaning and frustrate the customer more. Accept responsibility and move forward.
  3. Personalize the Response: Treat your customers with the same familiarity you would give an acquaintance. A little personalization goes a long way in getting a customer back on your side.
  4. Transfer them to the Correct Medium Quickly: It’s tough to identify and resolve an issue in 140 characters or less. If a problem requires more attention, ask people to DM you on Twitter, or give them an email or phone number to contact you directly. Don’t give customers the run-around.
  5. Move On: You can’t win them all. If a customer is determined to take their business elsewhere, despite your best efforts, all you can do is make the parting as seamless as possible. Remember, there are plenty of customers out there who will appreciate your excellent customer service and will head to Twitter to brag about how wonderful you are.


If you’d like help with your Social Media Marketing or Search Engine Optimization, call our San Francisco digital marketing office at 510-276-9902. We can help you set up a Twitter account and come up with a tailored Social Media Plan to help your business stand apart from the rest!