I’ve had my couch for three years, and it boasts tears in the leather, unstitched stitching and bald spots where the bonded leather detached from the fabric. I made a bad purchase decision. However, I did buy a five-year warranty package. Its purpose, to cover anything that is not wear-and-tear and pay for a repair or replacement. Problem solved? Not so fast.
The folks at the warranty company didn’t want to cover the defects. There was always some reason: the damage was considered “normal wear-and-tear,” or “the fabric below the bonded leather needed to be punctured.” My phone calls and emails went on for months. When I called I was told to leave a voicemail, but the calls were not returned. When I sent an email I would never receive a response. These were private, one-sided conversations and I was at the mercy of the other side wanting to respond to me.
A friend suggested I turn to Twitter and post to the company I bought the couch from with a photo. How could I cover everything in 140 characters or less?
“@storename I bought a couch and extended warranty. Warranty will not cover and store will not help.”
Within 24 hours I had a reply from the store asking me to have a private conversation about the matter. The next day I received a call from the store manager who communicated with me and those at the warranty company. Within a few days I had my store credit for a new couch and contact information for a group that will take my old couch as a donation.
Twitter works. 67% of Twitter’s 310 million daily users utilize the platform for customer service.
By making Twitter part of your store’s communication platform, you can do more than promote sales and events, you can extend your customer service arm. Here’s how:
- Respond quickly. Twitter research shows customers are willing to spend more after a positive customer service interaction. When ignored, 81% of customers say they will not recommend the company to a friend.
- Move offline to a personable conversation. There are no limits on the number of characters you can use, offering more flexibility to help your customers. You can also invite your customers to call you. Nike has an active Twitter customer service account and is leading companies like Apple and Adidas in their customer support metrics by responding to 96% of all customer service inquiries.
- Amplify positive reviews. When a customer is pleased by something you did for them, share the good news. Twitter says promoting the success of your own customers on your Twitter feed will result in more responses to you.
Using Twitter as part of your customer service platform will enable you to communicate more often with your customers, position your store as a business that puts customer satisfaction first and builds a personal relationship with your customers leading to more loyalty and sales.