How to improve your Customer Service using social media – Part 2 (Twitter)

Our last post looked at how you can show your customers just how good your customer service is by responding to your fans’ updates and comments on your Facebook page.  You can also show that you take concerns and complaints seriously as your Facebook page gives you the scope to respond to such comments and react accordingly where everyone can view it.


Today we are looking at twitter. With daily increasing numbers of people signing up to tweet, more and more people are gaining a ‘voice’ that can be transmitted online at a extremely fast speed.

Many business people seem to be afraid of twitter, afraid of the power of a compaint about their business going viral, afraid of not being in control over what is said.  However, even if a complaint is made about your business, you are much better off knowing about it. Not only will you find out where the ‘cracks’ in your business are and you can then do something about them but you can respond. An angry customer who receives an apology or an assurance that their complaint will be resolved or investigated will calm down quite quickly.

It can be hard to get a customer, even harder to keep them so if you can address any concerns as soon as they are voiced, all the better. There are lots of examples on various blogs and websites where consumers have been genuinely surprised when their annoyed tweet has been addressed with a phone call by a manager and an offer of a discount for their next purchase. The result: – they are calmed, pleased to be noticed and they all sound as though they will shop at that store again.

When watching ‘Frontline’ one Monday evening when the focus was on merchant banking, I tweeted my dissatisfaction with Realex and Elavon.  The following morning, I had received a tweet and an email from Realex saying that I would receive a phone call later in the day. Within two hours, my problem had been resolved.  Did Elavon respond? No!  Indeed, it took many emails and telephone calls before I received answers. I still think of Elavon with dread and equate them with incompetence.

Practicalities: How to do it?

  • You can set up a google alert on twitter, track tweets for particular keywords and an application like hootsuite is probably one of the easiest ways to do it.
  • Use the @reply to respond.  If it is a positive tweet, thank them. If it is negative and can’t be solved in 140 characters, tell him/her you will be in contact by email within x hours and ensure it is followed up
  • Use the retweet / RT to add ‘thank you’ to a positive tweet and it will then be seen by your followers.
  • You can favourite positive tweets too.
  • Don’t just use twitter to discover things about your brand or about your competitors.  Use it as a normal person, follow others, tweet about ordinary things as well as happenings within your industry.

Another advantage of monitoring your brand and levels of customer service on twitter is that you can listen to your customers, find out where the ‘cracks’ on, learn from them, improve your business and utimately keep your existing customers and gain new ones.

Don’t be afraid of negative tweets. You can still demonstrate your high levels of customer service by responding to them. Embrace twitter 🙂

Our next post will examine how you can improve and monitor your levels of customers service via your blog.


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About Lorna

I'm a copywriter and social media consultant at, I teach social media online at and my personal blog Irish Farmerette recounts stories about life on a dairy farm in rural Ireland.

6 responses to “How to improve your Customer Service using social media – Part 2 (Twitter)”

  1. WiseMona says :

    I am learning so much from Twitter from you Lorna. I mean that. It is a hard nut to crack. I will just keep chipping away at it though.

    • Lorna says :

      Thanks Mona, I’m feel I am only at the tip of the iceberg but I do think there is a huge difference in starting with twitter when you are trying to build up your brand and your reputation compared to if you already have guru status. I’m ‘walking the talk’ and sharing my experiences 🙂

  2. Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC) says :

    Great points here Lorna and I like how you talk us through the process step by step and deal with our reservations. The key points I take from this post – never ignore anyone, be prompt and efficient in your response and be genuine in your efforts to help. Looking forward to your next installment!

  3. Rosemary Collins says :

    Another great post – I am finding your advice very helpful – thank you.

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