As a small business, the best way to provide customer service is to talk directly with your customers. And even beyond that, I would say it’s also about talking directly with prospective customers as well.
Twitter can very easily provide this customer service platform for small businesses. In fact, let’s remove the term “small business”, and I could easily say that large corporate businesses leverage massive customer service support through Twitter.
Here’s how Twitter can help a small business provide customer service:
1) Of your course you, the small business owner, needs a Twitter profile. So head on over to Twitter.com and open your free account.
2) Start promoting your Twitter profile to your current customer database. More than likely an overwhelmingly majority of your customers are using Twitter and would be more than happy to start following you (your small business).
3) Once your have your Twitter profile launched, and your initial wave of invites to your current customer database, start becoming active on Twitter. It’s easy to find things to say within 140 characters – that’s barely 2 sentences, and most of the time, it’s only one moderately long sentences.
Talk about what new products and services you’ve either launched, or are thinking about launching. Share customer testimonials, and even share customer complaints. It’s a matter of getting your voice out there so that others can start responding and conversing with you.
4) Monitor your replies and direct messages. Each Twitter profile has the following pages on the right hand side bar of their profile: “Home”, “@YourTwitterName”, “Direct Messages”, and “Favorites”.
It’s through your “@YourTwitterName” and “Direct Messages” that your customers will communicate directly with your business.
For example, let’s see how a Google Wave Engineer recently responded to someone who asked a question – in essence, it was a customer looking for support:
Again, Google Wave engineer Steph Hannon responded directly to a customer – in this case a Google Wave user – directly through Twitter.
And if Google is using Twitter for customer support, shouldn’t your small business consider it as well?