With 317 million users and more than half a billion tweets being sent daily, you would think things are going well for Twitter. But after struggling to attract investors in a very public auction, the network’s valuation and reputation has continued to slide.

To arrest this downturn, Twitter has played to its strengths and introduced two new Direct Message features, which will undoubtedly boost the customer service efforts of brands using the network.

Twitter’s customer service focus

For quite some time now, Twitter has become the go-to method of communication for customers wanting to get in touch with their favourite brands. Having recognised this, the site has released a wave of updates to improve the experience for both parties.

In September, Twitter added three new customer service tools for brands – a “Provides support” notation on profiles and search results, the hours when you are most responsive on the platform, and a bigger Direct Message button.

The following month, a Twitter study found brands that were more responsive to their customers enjoy various advantages, most notably higher revenue, greater satisfaction, and positive word of mouth.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise to hear that Twitter is rolling out even more customer service updates, this time to automate interactions with customers via Direct Message.

Quick replies and welcome messages

Twitter’s new welcome messages feature allows you to greet people as soon as they enter into a Direct Message conversation with you. You can create multiple welcome messages and deep link directly to a specific greeting from tweets, websites, or apps.

“Welcome messages help businesses demonstrate their commitment to service and help people learn what options exist to engage with a business in Direct Messages,” said Ian Cairns, customer service product manager at Twitter.

Quick replies enable you to prompt customers with the best way to reply to a Direct Message, which includes choosing from a list of options or guiding users to enter specific text values.

“When quick replies and welcome messages are used together, businesses can reduce wait times and educate people on the best ways to interact with them,” adds Cairns. “For example, they can enable faster resolutions by helping customers more easily provide information to solve problems before an agent sees the first message, or they can simplify automated services and transactional flows that were difficult in the past.”

Evernote example

The support account for note taking app Evernote (@evernotehelps) has already taken advantage of these new features. When you click Message, you are instantly greeted with the response “Hi there! Thanks so much for reaching out! What brings you to @evernotehelps today?” You can also choose from the following options:

  • Check the status of a ticket
  • Get help with a technical issue
  • Submit a feature request
  • Something else

It remains to be seen whether Twitter’s new Direct Message feature will become the default customer service portal for brands, but there are bound to be plenty of people who prefer the familiarity of social media to raise problems or questions.

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