It Pays to Provide Customer Service via Twitter (Report)

Brands that respond to customer-service inquiries on Twitter benefit from doing so on several levels, according to a study conducted along with Applied Marketing Science.

Brands that respond to customer-service inquiries on Twitter benefit from doing so on several levels, according to a study the social network conducted along with Applied Marketing Science.

Key findings of the study included:

  • Customers who receive responses when they tweet businesses are willing to spend 3 percent to 20 percent more on average-priced items from those businesses in the future.

TwitterAppliedWillingnessToSpend

  • Customers who receive responses when they tweet businesses are 44 percent more likely to share those experiences, both online and offline, and 30 percent more likely to recommend those businesses.

TwitterAppliedResponse

  • Customer satisfaction scores from customers who receive responses when they tweet businesses average one entire point hither, 2.66 compared with 3.66.
  • Quick responses are key: When airlines responded to customers’ tweets in less than six minutes, those customers were willing to pay nearly $20 more to fly with that airline on future trips. In the telecommunications industry, customer were willing to pay $17 per month more for phone plans when receiving replies within four minutes, but when that wait exceeds 20 minutes, the will only pay $3.50 more.

TwitterAppliedRevenueImpact

  • 69 percent of respondents who posted negative tweets about businesses feel more favorable about those businesses when they receive replies. In the telecommunications industry specifically, conversations sparked by negative tweets resulted in three times more willingness to pay for monthly wireless plans than those that started with positive tweets.

TwitterAppliedNegativeTweets

  • Aspect Research found that consumers perceive Twitter as “significantly less frustrating” than other customer-service channels , even preferring it slightly more than in-person interactions.

TwitterAppliedCustomerServiceChannels

Wayne Huang of Twitter’s research team added in a blog post:

If you need to discuss a private topic with a person who mentions your business in a tweet, reply with a direct message deep link so you can invite customers into private, one-to-one conversations. Make sure to acknowledge the person appropriately by being personal, friendly and human.

Learn and grow: Twitter’s customer feedback tools let people privately share their opinions after a service interaction. Businesses can collect CSAT and NPS (net promoter score) data that can be compared across traditional service channels.

Set expectations about being responsive. Twitter has a new support indicator and message button, which allow businesses to help people understand when they can expect a response and to make sure they know they have the option to start a private conversation.

Consider prioritizing responses to negative tweets over positive tweets, but don’t ignore customer praise. Any response helps increase in willingness to pay, so respond to every tweet that you can. By responding quickly to negative tweets, you can maximize your potential for impact.

Readers: What have your experiences been like when seeking customer support via Twitter?


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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