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Twitter Adds New Ways for Businesses to Interact with Customers through Direct Messages

Twitter has become one of the most popular social media platforms for customer service in the US.

Consumers who are dissatisfied with more traditional routes can pose questions and complaints directly at brands on Twitter.

A number of large businesses have decided to run with this trend, dedicating team members and social media accounts exclusively to customer service on Twitter and other social media sites.

Twitter is hoping to expand the nature of business and customer interaction on its site.

Already, individuals and businesses could interact with each other in private conversations called direct messages (DMs). Twitter announced at the beginning of this month that they are adding two new DM tools for businesses: welcome messages and quick replies.

According the Ian Cairns, Twitter’s Customer Service Product Manager, the goal of these new features is “to help businesses create rich, responsive, full-service experiences that directly advance the work of customer service teams and open up new possibilities for how people engage with businesses on Twitter.”

Welcome messages enable businesses to create a preset message that will greet users when they open up a DM.

They have the option to create multiple welcome messages and link to them directly from their website, Twitter profile, apps, or tweets. Welcome messages can range from a friendly greeting to an explanation of what customers can expect from the customer service team.

Quick replies build on this second function and aim to streamline customer interaction.

When activating quick replies, businesses create multiple preset options that customers can use quickly. For example, a business might create quick replies for “Check the status of my order,” or “Talk to an agent.” In essence, these replies act as an online version of the automated system you typically go through when you call a customer service phone number. They aim to streamline the customer service process and help businesses to deal with common customer needs more efficiently.

There is one big difference between traditional phone lines and quick replies, however. Twitter users will always have the option to type their own questions and concerns into the conversation, connecting, in theory at least, with a real person. Twitter’s new tools should ideally create a balance between the efficiency of an automated system and the direct, personal interaction that makes social media customer service appealing in the first place.

If you are a business and want to try out the new tools, you can read Twiter’s guide here.


Written by content manager Meghan Woolley

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