Got a problem? Tweet about it already.

December 8, 2009

Unless this is your first time ever using what we like to call "The Internet", you've probably heard of Twitter. There have been way too many articles written about Twitter, it's various uses, and so on and so forth. Today, I'll be focusing on particular trend that's becoming more and more common...

Unless this is your first time ever using what we like to call “The Internet,” you’ve probably heard of Twitter. There have been way too many articles written about Twitter, it’s various uses, and so on and so forth. Today, I’ll be focusing on particular trend that’s becoming more and more common…

Using Twitter as a Customer Service tool.

At initial glance, it may seem really hard to imagine taking care of customer service issues within a 140 character box. However, I assure you - it’s actually shockingly effective.


I recently wanted to change my cell phone number to a 615 Nashville area code. However, since I am on a family plan, AT&T customer service told me I would have to change all of the numbers on the plan, just not mine. That wasn’t going to work for me unfortunately. After numerous phone calls to customer service, I had finally given up all hope of getting a new number.

Until I tweeted the following:

Just a little bit later I received a message from @ATTJason that said this:

@ATTJason had just been monitoring Twitter key word searches and found my message and reached out.

Over the next week or so I exchanged over 30 Twitter direct messages with @ATTJason going back and forth trying to resolve the issue. Somehow, he did the impossible and got me that new number after all. This was something every other AT&T customer service person told me was impossible. He even let me pick the last 4 digits of my number. It was an amazing display of customer service and profoundly changed the way I felt about AT&T. And to think this all came from me posting one silly tweet.

This is just one example, if you take a stroll around the Paramore|Redd office you’ll hear very similar stories with companies such as Comcast, CarMax, and Bose.

Companies are just beginning to harness the power of this medium. There’s a lot of unmarked territory and potential. If you’re thinking about bringing your company or brand into this arena, there are many different angles you should consider first.

Below is a list of 6 steps that Ben Parr, from, put together about using Twitter for Customer Service. (Click here for the full article.)

6 Steps for Using Twitter as a Customer Service Tool:

  1. Understand why Twitter is an ideal customer service platform.
  2. Track the ENTIRE conversation around your brand.
  3. Make customers aware of your presence.
  4. Respond quickly and transparently.
  5. Be engaged in the conversations.
  6. Be authentic.

Those last two points (“be engaged in the conversations” and “be authentic” ) are particularly important. It is far worse for you to have a Twitter account, and be un-engaging/not authentic… than to NOT have a Twitter account at all. In other words, do it right or don’t at all, because you could be doing far more damage by not giving it 100%.

In closing… if you’re a customer, think about tweeting your issue next time - you never know who may come and rescue you. If you’re a company looking to use Twitter as a customer service tool - don’t just jump in head first. Make sure to do your research, define your brand and its voice, and plan the strategy on a very in-depth level.

See below for some other helpful articles on this topic:

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