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Twitter Enables Direct Messages From All Your Followers: The Effect on Social Customer Service

Mike Schneider
By Mike Schneider on Oct 15, 2013 10:04:00 AM

Over the past week Twitter have made a number of changes which will affect how brands use the platform. The biggest implication for social customer service is an update to Direct Message (DM) rules which allows customers to get in contact with businesses directly and privately without the brand needing to follow them first.

Twitter Enables Direct Messages From All Your Followers: The Effect on Social Customer Service

When Facebook first introduced private messages on brand pages in March 2012, we tracked the number of incoming and outgoing private messages within a 9 month period and saw private message usage skyrocket tenfold.

What must brands bear in mind to take full advantage of this Twitter update?

Turn it On

Twitter has made this new update an opt-in feature which you can enable through your settings. By checking this box, it means any Twitter user following you will be able to send you a direct private message without you needing to follow them first. This can benefit your business by eliminating the back-and-forth of asking your followers to follow you back / you following them to take messages privately.

Keep it Public

It is going to be tempting to continuously redirect all customers to DM to take complaints offline, but this will not be as effective as you think. 65% of customers note that the key to great customer experience is through first contact resolution, and the only way you can achieve this is by keeping conversations public. Resolve issues publicly so others can see how you can turn around customer sentiments, and please them further with resolution through their chosen platform.

This DM update eliminates the extra steps your customer, and you as the brand, have to take to deal with private and confidential messages – something which industries including finance have to deal with more often than others. If conversations have to be taken to private messages, be sure to go back to public once it has been resolved with a simple “thank you for getting in touch – if you have any other issues, do not hesitate to message us” for your customers to reply and commend your service.

Spam Influx

Your inbox will likely attract a higher level of spam if you enable this feature, therefore it’s important to use Twitter’s functionality to block spam bots to ensure your agents aren’t wasting time reviewing spam.

If you are going to opt-into receiving DM’s from people you do not follow, be prepared to block some unruly users. Tools like Conversocial can help you keep on top of the influx of DMs, using Twitter natively doesn’t always clearly notify you with new messages.

Reponse Times

Just because the DM’s are on a private channel, it doesn’t mean it should affect your response times; 30% of customers expect a response on Twitter within one hour. With Twitter users already starting to Tweet about holiday shopping, many may be sending you product related questions via DM. By preparing your team and ensuring DM’s are regularly checked, response times will not be jeopardised.  Quick responses may help ensure customers finalise their purchase with you.

Get in touch to learn more about how Conversocial can help you manage your social customer service offering with a personalised demo.

Topics: Best Practices, Social News, Twitter, Customer Service

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