If you follow even one business on Twitter, you’re part of the majority. But have you ever tried interacting with that business? Sending a question or complaint – and then being summarily ignored – is not a great feeling.
As a consumer on Twitter, you have a fair bit of power at your fingertips. Here’s how to get businesses to pay attention to you.
Know who you’re talking to
Before tweeting to @Rogers with questions about your last phone bill, do a quick search: Does Rogers have a customer service account? In this case, they do, at @RogersHelps. You’re much more likely to get a response from the company’s dedicated customer service account than their branded account.
Larger brands may have multiple accounts, so knowing which one is most likely to respond is key. And with smaller businesses, be sure to take a look at the profile before you tweet to their business name. It could be that Mom’s Cupcake Shoppe couldn’t get the username they wanted, so they went with @momcupcake2.
Make it public
If a single customer complains on Twitter, does she make a sound? It’s not exactly a zen cohen, but it’s close: a single customer complaint might be ignored, even if sent to the correct business account.
If your phone is experiencing a strange glitch, chances are @RogersHelps won’t be able to help via Twitter. However, if fifty customers tweet about the exact same problem, they might be inclined to make special notes in your customer files and give you a discount on your bills next month, if only to avoid a PR nightmare.
To get others to jump on your complaints with you, begin your tweet with a period, rather than the @username – “.@RogersHelp”. This makes the tweet more visible to your followers. And, if you add in appropriate hashtags to the tweet, like #brokenphone for instance, even more people are likely to see it and add their voice to yours.
Tag a journalist
If you’re really serious about a complaint, @mentioning a journalist might be the way to make a business listen.
Think about it from the business’ perspective: would you rather give a $5 coupon to a customer as a sign of goodwill, or risk a complain being taken up in mainstream media, potentially causing a huge, negative fallout?
If your complaint is minor, it probably doesn’t warrant this treatment. However, if it’s serious – and, especially if you’ve been ignored on other customer service channels – this might be the best way to get a business to take action.
Unfortunately, even using all of these tips won’t guarantee a response from a business on Twitter. Despite the fact that the majority of businesses either have a Twitter account or say they will have an account soon, a good 70 percent of customer service complaints are still going unanswered. So, if you really want a response, it makes sense to do whatever you can to raise yourself a bit above the average complaint.