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I am involved in a social media team for a NZ brand so I am used to having customers tweet our account with the occasional problem, grizzle and the like. Of course, we also get a lot of compliments too! Recently I have also been on the other side of the fence and have been dealing with a few large NZ and overseas companies/government agencies via Twitter for a mixture of support and customer service issues. It’s probably a bit like a doctor getting sick and finding out what the health system is actually like – or maybe not quite as extreme, but you get the idea.

Here are 5 mistakes that are pretty common with a large Twitter account, but easily fixed.

1. Ask them to DM you – but you aren’t following them so they can’t. This wont put an annoyed customer in a better mood.

2. Ask them for their email address rather than giving them yours. This forces the customer to communicate with you via Twitter until you email them.

3. Not responding to the customer to tell them what you are doing and what they should expect. You might be running around like a mad thing getting hold of the right people internally who can deal with the issue but the customer doesn’t know that. Silence can be deafening.

4. No updates if the issue stretches over a period of time – even if it is just that there is no update! Just showing that you are following up and haven’t forgotten the customer speaks volumes.

5. Overuse of generic or standard lines that sound like a robot eg “we value your feedback”. Personalise your tweets so you sound like a human. Its not hard.

The rewards of following some basic customer service principles can be great. This is one of my favourite tweets. Ever.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Wow that *is* a fav Twitter quote that you should keep – good on you!

    Being in a similar position with my work account I totally agree with these points – I always get quite excited when a company tweets me back and I wonder if that’s how people feel when I tweet them as a company. I also get very very disappointed when they don’t tweet back, especially if I have asked them a question. And even more so when I see they do @ reply others so it’s not as though they ignore questions – that’s when I take it personally.

    Another mistake or oversight I think brands and companies make is not announcing their Twitter presence on their website. Nowadays if I want to get hold of someone, I’m perfectly happy to go through social media channels but it’s still quickest and easiest to go to their contact page on their website to see if a) they accept customer enquiries via social media and b) where they are.

    Keep up the good work! ^OG

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Brands, Social Media, Twitter


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