Twitter as a Customer Relations Tool

Published on 3 May 2012 at 9:52 pm.
Filed under Marketing,Search Engine Optimization,Social Media.

Twitter birdTwitter is a powerful social networking site where you can market your products and services. But did you know that you can use it to manage customer relations?

Social Media Marketing with Twitter

You have probably already read about how Twitter plays in to social media marketing. If you are a frequent reader of the blog you know how using #hashtags can allow you to connect with people who are using your product or service. In just 140 characters you can spread a message to the world that your followers can re-tweet, or picked up by bots and spread to the world and thus boost your SEO efforts. It’s a simple mechanism to increase revenue, but what about dealing with customers?

Customer Relationship Management with Twitter

Everybody gets upset from time to time. Sometimes we are upset by a company. In the last month or so I have left dissatisfied tweets about GoDaddy, Sirius XM, and HitsLink by Net Application. If you are not aware of HitsLink/Net Applications they are a leader in website analytics and internet technologies. My relationship is different with each of these companies:

  • GoDaddy is a company that we do business with at work and my tweet was me leave dissatisfaction on my personal Twitter account with something going on.
  • With Sirius XM I am a customer who was very frustrated at how their internet radio player functioned.
  • Neither work nor I are customers of HitsLink. I have subscribed to their RSS feed for many years. Google Reader regularly shows me 8 old posts that should have made their way out of the system long ago (that is, unless the international release of the original iPad is still newsworthy).

GoDaddy was hands down the most responsive. They weren’t particularly helpful, but that was because I wasn’t really looking to get a response from them from Twitter and had talked to technical support representatives on my own first (I might have even left the tweet while waiting for technical support to become available, which was about a minute or so).┬áTheir responsiveness was impressive, though somehow it didn’t seem personal if that makes any sense. Obviously you cannot automate that and it was a real human on the other end, but it felt more like damage control than a personal investment in a positive experience. I suspect that they use a tool such as tweetdeck to monitor twitter.

Sirius XM was not as quick to respond, but they were much more helpful. I’ve had to do enough tech support for work here to know what type of information that would be helpful to them to track things down and offer me answers. It felt like they actually cared about my experience, and they ended up giving me a heads up that they were beta testing a new player. After testing it for a day when the new player launched earlier this week I left them a positive tweet as a reply to the previous conversation. They were happy that I was now satisfied and indicated they would pass the message along to the right people.

HitsLink was terrible. They responded about 3 weeks after I left my tweet. They said that they see that the stories get old, but blamed it on Google Reader and washed their hands of it. I replied instantly pointing out that their RSS feed did not validate and that I could see that those entries broken. I have not received a response since then, but it’s only been 1 week. Truthfully, I think it would have been in their best interest to not even respond. I was slightly frustrated before I dealt with them, and now I am annoyed.

Those first two examples showed that GoDaddy and Sirius XM clearly see the value of Twitter as a customer relations tool. They obviously have support staff dedicated to monitoring Twitter and are trying to service customers. Hitslink clearly does not get the value of Twitter — my response was one of two for the entire month of April.

So take a look at how you are supporting your clients on the Internet. Are you actively trying to improve things like GoDaddy and Sirius, or do you passively let things slide by like HitsLink? Which do you think is a better method of dealing with customer relations?

This post was originally published as Twitter as a Customer Relations Tool for The BrandBuilder Company.

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