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Twitter Tech Support: How Effective Is Tweeting A Tech Problem?

Sarah Jacobsson April 17, 2012
Twitter Tech Support: How Effective Is Tweeting A Tech Problem?
Companies do answer customer support questions sent via Twitter. Here's how they handle it and how to be heard when you tweet your problem.

As the Web becomes increasingly social, more and more companies turn to Twitter to address problems that customers have with their products or services. After all, the last thing a company wants is for a Twitterer's minor problem to go viral across the Internet, just because the company didn't deal with the issue effectively when it had the chance.

According to a study of social media customer service released in March by Sitel and TNS, people are increasingly turning to social media to get their questions answered.

"Social media is dramatically altering the customer service landscape," writes Lawrence Fenley, Sitel's managing director for the U.K. and Ireland, in a statement. "With easy access to real-time information, a new generation of 'always-on' consumers is more empowered and demanding than ever."

The study, which surveyed more than 1000 consumers in the U.K., shows a changing--but not completely revolutionized--landscape. Among respondents between the ages of 16 and 24, the study reports, 7 percent said that the first thing they do when they run into a problem with a product is to complain about it on social media.

This might not sound like a huge number, but take into account that other answer choices on the survey included searching for a solution online and contacting the company directly--both of which involve actively seeking an answer, not just letting virtual friends and followers know that you hate a product or are having trouble with it.

When asked what companies could do to improve customer service, 17 percent of respondents in the 16- to 34-year-old bracket said "respond quickly when I ask a question on Twitter."

Twitter may not have replaced traditional hotlines yet, but it's getting bigger every day. After all, it's convenient, concise, and fast--three things that matter a lot to consumers in today's mobile world. Let's look at how companies use Twitter as a customer service vehicle, and how you can use tweeting to get your voice heard.

Source: PC World (US)