Providing Customer Service on Twitter Builds Brand Character


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While the Twittersphere is filled with questions and complaints directed at big brands, one of the hardest things for organizations to do is effectively respond in 140 characters or less. While many have offered the opinion that corporate customer service simply doesn’t belong on Twitter, don’t tell the likes of Zappos,, Travelodge, Microsoft and Warby Parker that, because they’re actually experiencing tweet success when it comes to customer service. Here are five character-thrifty tips to get your organization’s customer service message across on Twitter:

1. Think Inside the Box (specifically, a YouTube screen). When Warby Parker launched in 2010 with a policy that it would respond to every customer question and comment no matter what channel it came from, they made it work, even with Twitter’s limited word count.

For answers that just won’t fit within the 140 character limit, Warby Parker’s customer service team records a video response, uploads it to YouTube and tweets the link to the customer. And the reviews for this response have been stellar. Not only is the customer who posed the question impressed, but so are the other customers who have (or Google) the same question and are taken to the CSR response on YouTube. (Read more on

2. Take the Conversation Elsewhere. Especially if your brand is dealing with a complaint, it’s better to take the conversation out of the public eye and continue it where the CSR and customer better communicate without a tweet-heavy sparring session.

Always thank the customer for their tweet, and then direct them to another channel where they can fully state their claim. This is especially key if your social media monitoring and response is not staffed by your organization’s customer service team and your social channels are not integrated with the workflow and reporting used for your organization’s other major customer service channels.

3. Change the Channel. If your customer service channels including social media are centralized in a single service desk, you can either reply back on Twitter if the answer is simple or answer to another channel such as the customer’s email address using their contact information on record. If you switch channels though, be sure to let the customer know where the response will be coming to.

4. Answer Questions Before They’re Asked. Post frequently asked questions with links to their answers from your company’s knowledgebase frequently in your Twitter feed.

5. Just Do It. Offering any response is better than none at all. Those organizations that choose to offer no response to complaints, questions (and even praise) on Twitter may find their customers being answered and enticed by social-savvy competitors. According to NM Incite, 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers that do not receive a response.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


  1. Contrary to the claims of other people, that social media is not cost effective or is not effective at all, I think social media allows businesses to communicate and engage with their customers in a medium their customers are familiar with. Customers are most likely to trust a business or brand that uses multiple channels to provide customer service and customer satisfaction.

  2. Thanks for your comment above. I agree with you – I think it’s very important for brands to be there and communicate with, not just to, customers on major communication channels. I believe it’s definitely a trust builder, and currently a great differentiator for the brands that are doing it well. Thanks again! ~ Tricia

  3. As modern life becomes increasingly complicated and consumers are faced with understanding more and more technologies and environments, it can be difficult to know if the user has just misunderstood how a product or service works, or if there is a genuine problem with it.

    Any good customer service department should be happy to deal with such a customer, in either case. A company needs to know if its products, or the accompanying documentation, are just too complicated for its target consumer market. A business that is truly customer-focussed will act on reports like this and work on improving anything that it sends out to its customers. A business that has little interest in customer service will just ignore this kind of complaint and carry on as before. It may save them money in the short term but it is likely to prove a costly mistake in the longer term. This is even more evident when the product itself is faulty.

    Unfortunately for consumers, there is yet another type of enterprise at work in the marketplace – businesses or individuals that have no other aim than to defraud the innocent or oblivious consumer. Scams abound, both in the physical world and, ever more frequently, online.


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