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Twitter provides brands with social customer service manifesto

10th Aug 2015
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Twitter has announced it is “making it easier for brands to provide better customer service” by releasing a Customer Service ‘Playbook’ to help guide professionals through delivering customer support via the social network.

The announcement is in response to data from Social Bakers, which states that brands answered fewer than 30% of seven million questions asked of them on Twitter in the second quarter of 2015.

Delivering successful customer service in just 140 characters, in a public forum, has remained a perennial problem for brands - just 3% of consumers cite the social network as the fastest channel for issue resolution despite Twitter announcing a 2.5x increase in the number of Tweets to brands and their customer service usernames since 2013.

Average response times on Twitter dropped from 8 hours 37 minutes in 2014 to 5 hours 27 minutes in 2015, but consumer expectations are for this to drop further still.

Pam Plyer, executive practice lead for customer experience and contact centre management at The Northridge Group recently claimed social customer service “just isn’t living up to the hype”, however other networks are less volatile than Twitter. Brands are doing much better at resolving queries on Facebook, for instance, answering 76% of the 1.5 million questions posted on their Facebook Pages in Q2, Social Baker’s data states.

“To help companies better realise this opportunity, we’re publishing our new guide to customer service on Twitter,” wrote Chris Moody, vice president of Twitter Data Strategy, in a blog post. “The Twitter for Customer Service Playbook details everything from the high-level opportunity to the key steps and best practices in creating a world class social care organisation.   

“Not only are customers turning to Twitter for help, Twitter is also significantly more efficient and effective for companies who are seeing a cost per resolution on Twitter that’s one-sixth of what they’re seeing in call centres. And companies that developed social care capabilities improved year-over-year revenue per contact by 18.8% over companies without social customer service, according to a study by the Aberdeen group.”

Twitter’s manifesto provides suggestions on everything from brand tone to flex capacity, service hours and response times.   

“Many call centres are now 24/7 with well-established response time standards,” the document states. “Benchmarks and standards on Twitter, however, have not solidified. Customer expectations are still in their early stages. This presents an opportunity for your brand to stand out and provide a VIP-experience by optimising the service timing lever.”

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