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The Breakthrough Advantages of Twitter in Customer Service

twitter for customer serviceHappy Birthday to Twitter. The ubiquitous social platform in everyone’s pocket has matured significantly since its launch just 10 years ago.

Considering the 140-character constraint, and the non-stop, fire hose gush Tweet-stream, Twitter provides some surprising and beneficial advantages for marketing and communications. And, one of the quickly emerging capabilities of Twitter for healthcare, hospitals and medical groups is its unique applications in customer service.

Twitter use, for both brand names in business as well as in healthcare, is now a well-established channel, largely in the one-to-many category. With about 65-million Twitter users in the US (nearly half of whom use it at least once daily), one research firm tabulated 40 percent of their snapshot sampling of Tweets was “Pointless Babble.”

But more serious-purpose stats say that 63 percent of users get news from Twitter, with 59 percent of them keeping up with a news event as it’s happening. In health matters, Twitter has become a tool for tracking flu epidemics and other public health issues. [The Washington Post]

Customer Service on Twitter

In a considerable leap beyond “pointless babble,” Twitter has blossomed into a new era of customer service for brands, businesses and service industries. “Customers are engaging with companies on Twitter to solve their customer service issues, and brands are responding in innovative ways,” according to Twitter.

“Companies now have the tools to match ever-loftier customer expectations, with personalized service that’s faster, more efficient and more relevant.” Clearly, healthcare’s informed and engaged patients, and the greater need for patient satisfaction and personalized engagement, connects hospitals and medical service practices with this opportunity.

Twitter’s Customer Service Playbook (and payoff)…

The goals for business in general, and for healthcare facilities and providers in particular, are to reduce operating costs, efficiently generate revenue, and improve customer satisfaction. And to help guide companies and organization, the Twitter for Customer Service Team created an informative and useful playbook.

The guidebook, which is free, describes a new, Twitter-enabled frontier of personalized customer engagement, titled: Customer Service on Twitter. They write: “As your brand seeks new ways to create meaningful connections with customers, Twitter can help. Twitter is not just a platform for people to connect with each other, it is also a place for people to connect with brands.

“This enables companies to deliver differentiated, scalable customer experiences with:

  • Unparalleled reach and amplification through one-to-one-to many interactions;
  • Real-time conversations with customers;
  • Unprecedented insight into what customers really want and how they behave; and
  • Enhanced operational efficiency.”

Twitter’s guidebook describes the important steps in building and scaling customer service capabilities. Individual situations and criteria will vary, but Customer Service on Twitter is recommended reading for hospitals, group medical practices and providers that proactively want to create a differentiated customer service experience.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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