Although Twitter has removed the barrier between consumers and businesses in one sense, it can still feel like you’re struggling to be heard amid the sea of voices tweeting every second. Here are some tips for making sure companies see your complaint on Twitter.
You can’t simply tweet a complaint and assume the local pizza place will somehow figure out that “cardboard crust from the place downtown” refers to them.
Instead, you have to tweet strategically to be heard.
To start, make sure you’re mentioning the business’ correct Twitter account. Search for their username and read a few of the most recent tweets. Has the account tweeted recently? Do they typically respond to customers? Do they have a separate, dedicated Twitter account just for customer service?
In your complaint, you want to make sure you use the business’ @username, and you probably want to use it as the first word in your tweet. This turns your tweet into a reply, and it will help limit who sees the tweet in their timeline to yourself and the business who you’re tweeting to (and anyone who follows both of you). This way, your other followers don’t have to see your complaint and the business’ response.
Next, try to be polite. Because Twitter is an open social network, everything you tweet can be seen by others. So even if you @reply to the business, the tweet is out there for anyone to see if they visit your profile. This will also make it more likely that the business will respond, since you’re likely dealing with an actual customer service person behind the account – they will probably breathe a sigh of relief if you aren’t tweeting obscenities and rage at them.
The content of your tweet should clearly and concisely explain your problem, and you should make every effort not to spill over into two tweets. If a business has to sift through their timeline to find part one of your 12-tweet rant, they are probably going to ignore you and focus on a more manageable customer, especially if they have limited resources.
Be sure to also reference any order number or other information that can identify your particular issue. This saves a few back-and-forth tweets between you and the business, as they try to get this information from you.
And, lastly, it’s OK to send a reminder tweet to the business if they did not get back to your original complaint within 24 hours. Sometimes tweets fall through the cracks.
More and more businesses, from large corporations to small mom and pop shops, are using Twitter for customer service these days, so don’t hesitate to contact them via Twitter if you have a problem.
(Complaint image via Shutterstock)