The internet is becoming an increasingly complex place, and your online customer support strategy is becoming more important as the world shifts further to an online context. Twitter is now being looked to more and more as a place where marketers build lasting relationships with customers, but will it help you with your overall online customer support and research goals?
An effective Twitter account will have the primary goal of building relationships with customers. Many of these relationships will wind up being lifelong, such as my well known brand loyalty to Chevrolet, but with a much more personal touch than ever before.
How Twitter can help your online customer support and research goals
Supporting your customers in today’s online context goes beyond answering questions, it’s about know what they want before they want it. Fortunately for you, and your business Twitter account, there is a wealth of customer support information available to you for doing just this:
- Displayed profile data can tell you details about the person’s life.
- Past history can help you understand future needs.
- Social groups can help you fit the person into a target market or group.
Customer support in this context can be proactive rather than reactive. It is time to start looking at Twitter as a place where you are looking to do online customer support, rather than a place where you go to tweet out your latest blog post and retweet funny cat pictures.
Personalizing conversations on Twitter for better online customer support
Twitter is an absolute goldmine for marketers who want to get a handle on their customer’s general sentiment. Using things like Twitter advanced search, marketers are now able to see what customers, and people interested in their industry, have to say before they even say it to them.
For example, let’s look at a basketball shoe company. If they launch a new shoe line they can gauge customer satisfaction using a few simple search features. For ease of search, let’s pretend we’re Nike and we doing market research on our next Air Jordan sneaker.
First, we’ll enter text into the text field that will start bringing up results relating to our new shoe. We’ll use Nike Air Jordan Future:
We’ll then scroll down to the bottom of the page where we see the Others field. There, we can click on boxes that allow us to filter tweets by those that are positive, negative, or questions. For the purpose of this query, we’re going to chose negative. The first perfect example of an online customer support issue that only Twitter could help with is this:
— Kai Thrun (@KaiThrun) April 2, 2014
The user hasn’t given Nike a mention, they’ve just used an informal hashtag. The user has also expressed his interest in a particular color for the shoe. Not only are you now able to speak with this customer in an online customer support context, but you use to have to pay for big study groups to get this type of information. Now online customers give it to you for free because they feel the need to express themselves.
This expression is they key to online customer support in the Twitter era. Your customer want to go online and complain, or compliment, about you and your ability to capture that is nearly unparalleled.
Broader online customer support opportunities
Above, we look at a specific shoe that Nike had launched and wanted feedback on. But what if they wanted to get ready for a whole new shoe, and were looking for general pointers from basketball shoe wearers?
Easy. Go to the same Words field and enter a general statement such as “basketball shoes.” Go down to the Other field and click on negative. You’ll get a wide set of results that you can use to find out what your customers are thinking. Are your shoes, or your competitors shoes, wearing out too quickly for a large number of people? Do you have an outcry for a certain color in a geographic region? Are customers having a hard time finding a certain model in their region?
All of these broader questions can be answered within a search on Twitter. Steadily compiling all of this data can help you become a company that does proactive online customer support, rather than being one that sits and waits for customers to come to them and complain for help. All of that data also be used for your customer research purposes.