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Big Brands Using Twitter for Customer Service

Posted on 6.18.2013

Have you ever sought out customer service on Twitter from a brand you’re currently doing business with (or are looking to do business with)? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

A new report from Simply Measured indicates that consumer demand for customer service on the social network continues to grow and brands are responding by increasing their investment.

Thirty-two percent of brands now have dedicated customer support handles according to the quarterly study, which examines the Interbrand 100. What’s more, there was a whopping 63 percent increase over the previous quarter in the number of brands that sent over 50 customer service related tweets per day. Apparently, the volume of customer service tweets is growing… and fast.

According to the research, customer service account mentions increased by 5 percent, and brands increased their responses to support issues by 13 percent, delivering nearly 94,000 customer service tweets in the quarter. But is it paying off?

“There’s no questioning the value of Twitter as a critical channel for customer support,” said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured. “Since we started tracking this data nearly a year ago, we’ve seen brands significantly increase their investment in dedicated support handles, improving their ability to respond quickly while serving more customers. I expect we’ll see this trend continue upward as more brands realize how easy it can be to meet the needs of socially savvy customers.”

The average response time for those brands examined was shortened from 5.1 to 4.6 hours and the average response rate increased from 42 to 45 percent. How exactly are brands’s customer service teams responding?

According to Simply Measured, many are choosing to funnel customer service requests through to traditional support channels where they are better equipped to process issues, track resolution and do so privately. 46% of customer service responses contained one or more of the following tactics:

- Linking users to a website (20 percent)
- Requesting more info (12 percent)
- Directing users to email (9 percent)
- Direct message (6 percent)
- Call a support number (5 percent)

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