June 24, 2015 - Comments Off on The Twitter update that could change the way brands provide customer services

The Twitter update that could change the way brands provide customer services

 Since the dawn of Twitter we’ve had to learn how to communicate using only 140 characters. But now that limit is about to be lifted – at least for direct messages. So what kind of opportunities will this present brands?

There will still be a character cap, but at 10,000 it creates ample space to be clearer and friendlier – and the potential to be cleverer. Combine this with the recent option to opt in to receiving direct messages from accounts you don’t follow and the opportunities for brands who use Twitter to provide customer services suddenly widens that bit more.

It’s no new phenomenon that brands are using social media to improve their customer services. After all, consumers get a much more efficient and personal response from brands when it’s done this way.

But with just 140 characters to play with, it’s never been easy for the consumer or the brand’s customer service team to communicate their messages in the way they want.

With little room for pleasantries, the brevity of the messages can sometimes portray the wrong image, or at least feel a bit short of empathy. And details can be lacking.

So apart from the obvious benefit of having the room to write more, the changes mean that brands will be able to invite customers to use direct messaging on Twitter instead of emails, which could streamline the interaction.

This doesn’t mean to say that it won’t have its faults, though. Opening up direct messages to anyone means there’s a chance for brands to get it wrong – very wrong.

Usually with email interactions a consumer has the right to unsubscribe and opt in or out. But now, if brands do begin to spam accounts with unsolicited marketing, they will find themselves blocked by the receiver.

Crucially, when an account is blocked, not only will the messages not be received any more, but they will also be banned from viewing each other’s tweets. The consequence for brands is that they won’t be able to respond to any negative tweets about them.

If brands fall into the trap of using direct messages the wrong way, it could have a negative and detrimental effect on how they’re perceived online.

We have to wait and see what effects these changes will actually have on the messaging patterns in the future – if any. But in the meantime brands should at least make sure they opt in to receive direct messages from anyone.

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