Should I answer customer questions on Twitter?
It seems obvious: if a customer asks you a question, you answer it. Unfortunately, what starts as a few minutes a day answering easy questions can quickly spiral into hours in front of the computer. Likewise, apparently benign questions can have a sting in the tail. Social media is both a blessing and a curse, and many businesses – including marketing agencies – are still learning how to get the most out of this constantly shifting platform. At boxChilli, we’ve learned a few lessons we’re happy to pass on.
Yes, you should answer questions on Twitter
You are under no obligation to answer every single question or comment directed at you on Twitter or through other social media channels. In fact, as the record of the conversation will be public, you should steer away from questions that will damage your brand.
However, while answering every question can be disastrous, answering none it almost guaranteed to cause upset. Customers expect to be able to contact you through every channel, so ignoring your inbox on Twitter is akin to answering the phone and not saying anything.
Questions you must answer on Twitter
- Any quick, factual product enquiry – even if the information is readily available on your site. It’s £3.40 for one, how much for 2?
- Customer complaints – although you don’t have to keep them on Twitter
- Friendly questions from influential accounts – you don’t have to be a marketing agency to see the value of this one!
Move complaints off Twitter
Twitter is a short form message service and is unsuited to long or detailed conversations. Any complex issue should be moved to a different medium – email is usually best, but phone calls may work better for you. It’s completely reasonable to ask customers to contact you directly to deal with a complaint or fault.
Use your blog for longer answers
If you get a question a lot, write a blog post with a full answer. You can then link back to that post. As a marketing agency, we fully support writing the blog post in response to the question on Twitter, and then posting a link as an answer. It’s almost a 2-for-1 in terms of social media advertising.
Questions to avoid on Twitter
Don’t answer a question if:
- If you think the account is a robot or spam account.
- It’s rude, inflammatory or abusive.
- It’s on a controversial topic. So what do you think of the Pope, really?
- It’s asking you to disparage (or praise!) a competitor. Other Brand is terrible – @yourbrand you agree, don’t you?
- It’s unrelated to your business. @marketingagencyportsmouth can you please recommend a good hairdresser in Norfolk?
- It’s asking for information you wouldn’t give out over the phone or email Pls tweet me your bank details and I will pay
- It’s asking for comment on industry news when you don’t have full information on the topic. I heard that Other Brand kills KITTENS @yourbrand, is that true?
- Anything contractual or with business details
If you are based in Portsmouth, Hampshire or surrounding areas and would like to discuss how to manage social media or digital marketing for your business, view our portfolio or make contact with our web design and digital marketing team. We really like to talk.