In our previous post, we discussed why your company should consider utilizing Twitter as a customer service channel. Most companies are now comfortable with submitting updates over social media networks, or treating them as one-way communication channels to keep their customers current with news, promotions, and other announcements, but fewer are comfortable utilizing them for two-way communication.

Set Reasonable Expectations For Your Engagement

As we previously mentioned, many businesses simply don’t have a choice – your customers may already be using Twitter as a customer service channel, and they may not accept that your company has opted-out of social media engagement. Luckily, Twitter and third-party social media platforms like Hootsuite provide individuals and companies with the tools they need to stay on top of their mentions or tweets that contain their unique Social Media usernames while also allowing them to quickly respond. However, in the same manner as other communication channels such as email or telephone, you are responsible for setting reasonable expectations and engaging your customers in a timely manner, and it is vitally important that your social media channels are tailored to fit your brand and brand voice.

When It Comes To Customer Engagement, Consistency Is Key

If your customers have a question or concern about a product or service they received from your business, certain expectations already exist in their mind – they expect your response to be timely, for you to acknowledge the problem, and to offer a reasonable and satisfying resolution. While a certain percentage of your customers may have unreasonable expectations, the majority of them simply want to be treated fairly. Yet one of the easiest and potentially damaging ways your company can fail is by offering inconsistent customer service, either by failing to address clients in a timely manner or by offering an unsatisfactory or unreasonable response. While this can be damaging enough via a more private communication channel such as email or phone, it can be absolutely disastrous when a public record of the exchange exists, such as a series of tweets between you and your customers. Even if you know it may be unreasonable to satisfy all of your customers all of the time, it is reasonable to develop a system by which your responses are consistent in every exchange and consistent with your brand voice. If done correctly, you should be creating a public record of customer engagements that are consistent while also setting reasonable expectations among your other customers and potential customers.

Maintaining Your Brand Voice With Every Tweet

In addition to establishing a clear and consistent track record of customer engagements on Twitter, it is also vitally important that you consistently apply your brand voice to each and every tweet that you send. Why is this so important? It’s important because your brand identity has already established how your Twitter engagements will be perceived by your clients. If your company has a reputation for offering discounted prices and convenience instead of personalized service, your customers may already have modest expectations when it comes to your customer service. However, if your small business emphasizes personalized service and expert advice to your clients instead of discounts and convenience, your clients already expect a premium level of attention and service throughout all of your customer service channels, including Twitter and other social media networks. It is imperative that you meet the expectations that your brand has already instilled in your clients, no matter if you are engaging a customer face-to-face, over the phone, or through a series of tweets.