How To Use Twitter For Customer Service

How To Use Twitter For Customer Service

I recently booked a last minute getaways to San Francisco to spend the weekend with a friend. Two hours before my flight, I received a text message from Jetblue Airways that my 11:08 am flight had been canceled… Whaaaat? Really guys, two hours notice. Initially, I wanted to bitch and complain but the fact that I was standing in my room looking at an empty suitcase, I decided to take it as a blessing in disguise that I now had a little more time to pack.

How To Use Twitter For Customer Service: When To Use Twitter

At about 12:30 I received another text message that my flight had been rescheduled to 3:20. I was slightly annoyed that they couldn’t get me out sooner since this was going to be a short trip, and I wanted as much time in the city as possible. I sucked it up and was prepared to deal with it until I looked at my re-booking confirmation…Oh HELL NO, they put me in a middle seat!

When I booked my initial flight I had paid extra for a window seat. I have major flight anxiety and the only thing that makes a flight tolerable is being able to see out the window. This middle seat setup was not going to fly (pun intended). Immediately I called customer services to see if I could get it changed before it was too late, meaning, they started handing out premium window seat upgrades to other pissed off customers who I’m sure were also calling.

How To Use Twitter For Customer Service: Twitter For The Win

After spending 40 minutes on hold with customer service I was told unfortunately, they were unable to accommodate my request… Oh really? We’ll see about that! This has now turned into a job for twitter, my secret weapon that thousands of people don’t know exist.

Did you know that most major companies have a dedicated social media team that handles customer services issues via Twitter and Facebook? I discovered this years ago after I had an issue with T-mobile over a $600 cell phone bill. I had spent hours on the phone attempting to get the problem solved via their India based customer services team. I hung up the phone more pissed off then when I started, nothing had been resolved and I had wasted about 2 hours of my life.

Out of pure frustration, I sent a tweet calling them out on how their customer service team wouldn’t fix their own screw-up. To my surprise, about 10 minutes after the tweet was sent, they responded. They asked me to contact them via direct message with my account details. I sent them the information they needed and 10 minutes later I received a call from someone who was based in the United States who offered to look into my account. I spent 15 minutes giving them the run down on what had happened. They asked me to give them an hour and they would fix the issue.

When they hung up the phone, I would have bet my life that I would be on the phone calling them again, but I was wrong. About 45 minutes later, they called me back to inform me my bill had been corrected and they had applied a $50 credit to my account as their way of thanking me for my patience while they fixed the issue. I was floored, and from that day forward I keep this information in my back pocket.

How To Use Twitter For Customer Service: Making It Right

So, after hanging up with JetBlue Customer service, I sent a tweet.


Sure enough, in less than 30 minutes, I received a response from their customer service team. In less than 10 minutes, they had upgraded me, placed me in a window seat and refunded the money I initially paid for my window seats. They also upgraded my return flight and placed me in a window seat! The next day, I received another email informing me they were crediting my account for the canceled flight.

Jetblue for the win!


How To Use Twitter For Customer Service: How It Works

At the end of the day, companies want to do right by you. I’m not saying they want to be bullied by you, but if they honestly make a mistake, they do want to fix it. What I have found is sometimes customer services reps, don’t have the authority to respond the way you need them to. Here are five tips for using twitter to your advantage:

  1. Don’t be a bully. What’s the saying, you get more bee’s with honey than vinegar? Same holds true for twitter. Stay calm, be nice and state the facts. Keep your tweet short and to the point and avoid foul language and name calling. Also, don’t involve anyone else by tagging other people or hashtagging. Give them a chance to correct the issue before turning this into a PR nightmare.
  2. Know what you want. Are you looking to have an error fixed, have an item replaced, receive a refund? In order for them to help you, they need to know how to make the situation right. Give this some real thought before firing off that tweet and be realistic.
  3. Update your followers. If they are able to correct the issue or offer you a solution, update your followers. Don’t leave us hanging. A simple “Thanks for making it right”, is all it takes. Your tweets are seen my thousands of people. Be fair to the company by updating everyone when they solve your issue.
  4. Don’t post personal information. Don’t ever post account numbers, phone numbers, confirmation numbers or anything else. State your issue and then move the conversation to direct message where your details are safe. If you feel uncomfortable giving account information via direct message ask them to give you a call. You will need to supply your account number so they can look you up, but that’s all they should ask for.
  5. Be patient. I have been lucky that all of my tweets have been responded to within a few minutes however, companies do sometimes prioritize tweets so give them 24 hours to respond. If after 24 hours you have not received a response feel free to tweet them again.

How To Use Twitter For Customer Service: A Few Companies Who Are Doing It Right

Here’s a list of 40 companies who are rocking twitter with their customer service. There are thousands more, so If you are unsure send them a tweet and see what happens.

  1. JetBlue
  2. Virgin
  3. Southwest
  4. American Airlines
  5. AirAsia
  6. T-Moble
  7. Verizon
  8. Target
  9. Walmart
  10. Amazon
  11. Starbucks
  12. Nike
  13. Nordstrom
  14. Apple
  15. Mac Cosmetics
  16. Mc Donalds
  17. Sephora
  18. Panera Bread
  19. Toyota
  20. Honda
  21. Tesla
  22. Fitbit
  23. Costco
  24. Carnival Cruise Lines
  25. Disneyland Resort
  26. Bank of America
  27. Mattel
  28. Kraft Foods
  29. Time Warner
  30. Dish Network
  31. Sirius
  32. Facebook
  33. Microsoft
  34. HSBC
  35. Intel
  36. Wholefoods
  37. Priceline
  38. FedEx
  39. Lowes
  40. Xbox

Do you have a twitter story? Comment bellow and tell me how it went down. In the meantime, take a look at how these people leveraged twitter and how the companies rocked their responses.

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How To Use Twitter For Customer Service