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Summary of Twitter’s Customer Service Report

Our takeaways from the Twitter report of Customer Service on their platform. Customers’ service Tweets are increasing faster than companies can respond.

Last year, Twitter published an official 2015 report of Customer Service on their platform. We have summarized our takeaways from the 123 page report.

Customer service Tweets growing fast

Customers’ service Tweets are increasing faster than companies can respond. Twitter has seen 4.6% decrease in response rates because companies can’t keep up.

For example, Hassan Syed bought a promoted Tweet to complain about BA customer service after they lost his father’s suitcase. They only responded 8 hours later (during business hours), after 76,000 users had seen it.

Cost reduction

Solving a customer problem on Twitter costs an average of $1. That is 83% cheaper than it would cost to solve the same problem through a call center!

Highlights of customer service leaders on Twitter


Best Buy



Comcast uses a tiered structure for Triaging Tweets

Tier 1 — These agents are the central Tweet intake for the entire company and are responsible for triaging, tagging and assigning Tweets to the right groups and people. Triage was previously automatic, but the team discovered that manual triage is more effective.

Tier 2- Aligned by expertise — These agents are responsible for particular service lines or products. For example, a specific agent would handle the “cable” tag if that’s her background.

Tier 3 — The super agents of the group handle Comcast’s most difficult service challenges. They know all lines of business, understand Twitter and have at least three years’ experience. They’re the ones who decide if a Tweet should be escalated.

Comcast’s Twitter team has established a formal mechanism for disseminating insights from their customers deep into the company. They track the types of issues and any emerging trends they see in the flow of Tweets they handle. They describe the findings in newsletters and reports, which Comcast distributes regularly to specific groups within the company.

Creating a dedicated service account

3 Stages of Customer Service on Twitter

Stage 1 — Direct Mention Issue Resolution when the @brand or @care handles are mentioned by users.

Stage 2 — Broad Issue Resolution when a brand / product is mentioned without the handle.

@BestBuySupport and @LumiaHelp are good examples of this.

Stage 3 — Proactive Engagement — Brand / product is not mentioned directly but there is an opportunity to engage the user for issue resolution or delight.

For example, Hilton reaches out to travelers offering them local tips, even if they are not staying at a Hilton property. These Tweets sometimes translate into bookings. In other cases, travelers who have already booked their accommodations elsewhere, promise to stay at a Hilton property during a future stay.

Walmart is also a good example of this. They reach out to customers even if they haven’t mentioned the brand.

Purina, a maker of pet foods, has been known to respond to new pet owners with gifts, typically when the new owner didn’t Tweet at Purina.

Shifting from Stage 2 to Stage 3

This requires triaging massive Tweet volumes to identify the right customers at the right time and crafting responses that inspire. Machine learning and big data techniques can be very useful find and prioritize the right Tweets and moments to engage with customers.

Product — Direct mentions of the products you provide. For an airline this would be flights, first class, inflight Wi-Fi, etc.

Competitors — In addition to Tweets mentioning your competitors, find out what Tweets your competitors are sending out, what Tweets they’re responding to

Customer profile, behavior and Tweet contents — Do your customers have travel listed in their bio, do they follow travel bloggers, etc.

Factors for prioritizing Tweets

Customer journey — Where in the customer journey would you like to have more presence? For example, an airline struggling with loyalty might engage before trips whereas an airline struggling with service may want to engage during trips.

Differentiation — Your competitors may already be creating these types of experiences. How will you differentiate? You can target the same moments in more impactful way, or you can target entirely different moments.

Customer value — Which customers are most valuable for your business? Aim to match your existing high value customer segments. For example, the airline struggling with loyalty may prioritize reaching out to frequent travelers who live near their hub and are known to pay for upgrades.

Influence — How large of an audience will this interaction impact? For example, an airline might prioritize a travel blogger or an internet celebrity.

5 Best practices from the report

1. Be authentic

2. Be responsive and solution oriented

3. Develop rich content including videos, images, etc

4. Use Twitter as an early warning system

5. Engage your community

While this type of community may not be possible for every brand, you can still encourage your customers to connect by referencing shared issues and resolutions.

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