Friday, February 12, 2010

6 Companies Setting the Standard for Great Customer Service on Twitter

Now this is very interesting. Till now, telephone, chat and email was a medium for companies to provide support or sell. Twitter adds to the list. While another opportunity for outsourcing firms in India to provide additonal service? Will the six companies use their IT or BPO vendors to provide support on Twitter, too?

6 Companies Setting the Standard for Great Customer Service on Twitter: "
By Jenna Lebel

blog picThe connectivity of social media has opened the door for companies in their efforts to engage their customers, solve their problems and build overall brand favorability. Aside from reaching fans of your brand, you can use the micro-blogging site to better serve them and improve your customer relations. The benefits of using Twitter as a customer service tool are unparalleled. Through Twitter, you can resolve problems for your customers, portray your brand in a positive way and set the record straight when it’s portrayed in a negative way. Arguably the most important benefit is that it can reduce costs since customer service via Twitter likely takes less time and money than a dedicated call center does. Here are examples of 6 companies who are very effective in using Twitter for customer service. Can you think of others? Share in the comments section below.

Whole Foods (@WholeFoods)

Followers: 1,755,414

Whole Foods uses Twitter to build relationships with their customers by not only having a corporate Twitter account, but also having a Twitter account for each Whole Foods location. Through the corporate Twitter account, Whole Foods effectively addresses customer concerns by directly tweeting at the customer with the response to all problems. Whole Foods answers customer service questions and takes actions to solve customer problems. For example, in response to one customer, Whole Foods tweeted “I just called P Street for you. The chicken breasts are fresh, but you can find frozen chicken strips in the store as well.” Whole Foods encourages customer feedback and as an added bonus, they offer a $25 gift card for the tweet of the day!

JetBlue (@jetblue)

Followers: 1,612,373

JetBlue uses Twitter to promote sales and provide information about flights and additional services. That’s only one way that JetBlue uses the micro-blogging platform. They also frequently use Twitter to respond to customers’ concerns and issues. JetBlue tweets use a light and friendly in order to keep unhappy customers somewhat calmer. For example, in response to a tweet concerning a 3-hour delay, JetBlue responded “JFK is on an air traffic control ground delay program due to gusting winds. We’re working to push flights safely asap!”

Zappos (@Zappos_Service)

Followers: 3,565

Zappos uses twitter for customer service by having a separate Twitter account that directly addresses customer concerns and enables customers to communicate with employees of Zappos. There are actually more than 400 Zappos employees tweeting! Sometimes an employee will introduce himself by name so that customers know that they are communicating with a real person (example from yesterday, “Good Wednesday morning! Stephanie here if you need any assistance!”) The employees who tweet for Zappos not only answer questions posed by customers, but also actively respond to compliments and other comments

Comcast (@comcastcares)

Followers: 37,613

Comcast has a separate Twitter account run by Frank Eliason, Senior Director of Comcast National Customer Service, that directly addresses customer service. Frank includes a complete bio as well as his blog URL and email addresses to encourage customer feedback and service assitance. In response to one customer’s concern about not receiving channels, Frank responds, “Not connecting to any channel? Any error message? Have you unplugged it and plugged it back in?” Frank’s identity behind the Twitter account gives a true sense of customer care because it lets customers know that they are directly communicating with an informed Comcast employee who will address their questions.

Microsoft (@MicrosoftHelps)

Followers: 4,693

Microsoft also has a separate Twitter account dedicated to customer service. This Twitter account has four customer service employees who tweet: Andrea, Andrew, Brian, and Zahn. Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 5:30pm, these Microsoft employees tweet to customers and answer questions and concerns. In response to a question about Windows Explorer crashes, Brian responded, “Since it’s happening on 2 different Windows 7 machines, I created an MS Answers post for you. –BK.”

Starbucks (@starbucks)

Followers: 756,106

Starbucks’ Twitter account aims at being very interactive with its followers. The bio reads “Freshly brewed tweets from Brad at Starbucks in Seattle, WA.” Brad works to address any customer concerns, comments and compliments. When responding to a complaint about a bad cup of coffee, Brad tweets, “@FaythMichelle Sorry about that. If it isn’t perfect, we’ll remake (repour/rebrew) it.” While the Twitter account is not dedicated primarily to customer service, Brad makes it a large part of his daily tweets.

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