Twitter Broadens Customer Service Play; Facebook to Bring Ads to Messenger


Twitter Broadens Customer Service Play; Facebook to Bring Ads to Messenger

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  May 23, 2016

Twitter (News - Alert) says that for some of its advertisers, more than 80 percent of their inbound social customer service requests occur on Twitter. That’s good news, the social network company suggests, because customers as a result are more satisfied and the businesses have far lower resolution costs (a sixth of the cost of call center interactions).

Now Twitter is taking its customer service strategy to the next level, by enabling businesses to embed “deep links” to their Tweets that give customers the option to send them a Direct Message quickly and easily, and by introducing a new customer feedback mechanism.

Hyatt and Kaiser Permanente are among those using this feature to deliver customer service.

Also new from Twitter is a feature called Customer Feedback. It allows people to privately share their opinions with businesses following interactions with those organizations. This will help businesses with their voice of the customer efforts. The feature is available in Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score formats.

“Twitter is now a larger service channel than email for many leading companies, and they’ve responded by building major social care operations to handle the volume. Being able to measure the success of these operations through measures like CSAT is a hugely important next step, both to measure the quality of care and to compare with other channels,” said Joshua March, founder and CEO of Conversocial. “As a Twitter Official Partner, we’re excited to help bring these measurements into the native user experience—innovations like these help our clients like Google (News - Alert), Sprint, Hyatt, Hertz and more deliver great service over Twitter.”

Conversocial, Hootsuite, Lithium, Salesforce, Spredfast, Sparkcentral, Sprinklr, and Sprout (News - Alert) Social are Twitter partners that will make these tools available in their existing customer service workflows. (Conversocial turns social media conversations into conversations that are more like tickets so airlines, hotels, telecommunications companies, and other businesses can measure and resolve customer queries over social media in real time. Hootsuite is a platform for managing social media. Lithium and Spredfast are both companies that provide social marketing platforms. Salesforce is the leader in CRM, and offers various other solutions. Sparkcentral offers a solution allowing for customer service via secure messaging through smartphone apps. Sprinklr provides a listening platform.)

CRM giant Salesforce is integrating the Twitter Customer Feedback feature and Direct Message prompts with the Salesforce Customer Success Platform.

"Twitter is rapidly becoming a preferred channel for customer service,” said Mike Milburn, senior vice president and general manager of Service Cloud at Salesforce.

“With [this] announcement, Twitter and Salesforce will provide powerful new tools for customers to engage directly with brands and resolve customer service issues faster and more efficiently. Companies using Salesforce can harness information from these interactions to connect with their customers in new ways."

Care is the new face of marketing, noted Elizabeth Closmore, global head of product evangelism and partnerships at Sprinklr.

“Twitter has proven it’s an amazing place for brands to talk to and ultimately build relationships with their customers, and one of the best ways to do that is by helping them when they need it most,” she added. “Twitter’s new customer service features are a testament to the fact that brands need to quickly and effectively engage on the customer’s terms, on the channel of their choosing, and at scale.”

In other important news that brings together a social media giant with customer service and marketing, Facebook (News - Alert) reportedly plans to launch ads in Messenger (which today has 800 million monthly active users) in the first half of this year. TechCrunch broke the story, which is based on a leaked document Facebook sent to some of its major advertisers, in a Feb. 18 posting. The TechCrunch story says “businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who previously initiated a chat thread with that company. To prepare, the document recommends that businesses get consumers to start message threads with them now so they’ll be able to send them ads when the feature launches.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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