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How to offer kick-ass customer support on Twitter

Social networks provide an awesome opportunity for you to help customers faster if you use them correctly. With only 140 characters in a tweet, you need to write concise messages and get right to the point. It’s also a great opportunity for you to connect with customers by using a friendlier, funner style. But you need to keep in mind that everything on social is public. Here are some best practices for offering awesome customer support on Twitter.

Create a dedicated Twitter support handle.  When you set up your support system, it’s best to create a unique Twitter handle for support. Your main channel can continue to address people who just want to follow the brand and want updates on what's happening. They don't want to hear all of the noise on the support channel (and you probably don’t want them to either).

Answer everyone. Twitter is a great way to show the world how friendly and responsive your support team is, so you need to answer everyone. Not just the lovers and the people retweeting your blog post, but the haters too.

Defer complicated questions. At the same time, you need to work within Twitter’s limitations and 140 characters is simply not enough to solve some of the issues your customers may have. If you have a multi step technical support problem, take it off Twitter and handle it via email.

Keep sensitive information private. When you’re having an extended conversation with a customer it can be easy to forget, but Twitter is a public forum. If you need an email address or a phone number, don't ask for it over Twitter. Have them send you a direct message with this information.

Sign your name at the end of your tweet. If you have space in your tweet, you should try to personalize it. Not only does it help customers to reference you if they end up talking to a different support agent later, but it also helps to show a personal side of your brand.

Have fun with it. Emails can be pretty formal, but you can add a hashtag and interact with people on a more personal level on Twitter. Customers need to know that you are serious about their issues, but you can still put a friendly face on your business.

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