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6 Companies That Are Doing Customer Service Right on Twitter

Twitter Customer Service Challenge: The Winners

Things have improved quite a bit in the six months since I published my unscientific study of brand responses to Twitter questions. Back then, only 1 in 18 brands responded (6%) to my questions over a six-month period. In the subsequent six months, however, that number jumped to 6 of 19 brands, or 32%.

Here’s a look at 6 winning brands which are getting it right on Twitter. The non-responders are covered here.

1. Charles Schwab – The investment brokerage nailed it in their response to my complaint about their IPO signup process. They responded in under an hour, they expressed empathy (“Sorry to hear…”) and a willingness to help, they acknowledged a problem (“your poor experience”) and gave me explicit instructions to solve it, without making me leave my preferred channel. They even found room to sign the tweet with the rep’s initials, a nice personal touch.


Some may nitpick and say that they didn’t actually answer my question, but being in a highly regulated industry, they can’t. Because the question pertains to my specific account, they are right to direct me to a private DM.

2. American Airlines – In the example below, I asked both American and Hilton Hotels about a confusing co-branded e-mail offer I received. While American responded quickly, I never heard from Hilton. American also responded to a separate tweet about a seat assignment on a flight, and even acknowledged a tweet that simply referenced them in an article.



3. United Airlines – It is clear that the airline industry leads all others in terms of responsiveness generally and also speed of response. United did a nice job directing me to the right place to get help with a seat assignment, and also responded to a tweet where I simply referenced them with a photo from one of my flights.

4. QVC – In what was probably one poor rep’s worst day on the job ever, I called wanting to redeem 11 different gift cards on a large order. Too bad QVC’s systems only allow three payment methods. Though the call took a long time, the rep was friendly, patient, and successful in getting my order completed. QVC was also successful in responding to my praise on Twitter.
5. Waze – The popular travel and navigation app, now owned by Google, responded in less than 12 hours with the correct answer to why I was having trouble getting any sound in the app. Just as call centers measure “First Call Resolution,” so should social care teams measure  “First Tweet Resolution”.
6. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois – While this is another example of not directly answering my question, I was pleased to receive a response, some serious enthusiasm (three exclamation points!), and a willingness to at least consider my idea.
Honorable Mention: Like American and United, three other brands responded to tweets that were more references than questions. ADT Security, AT&T, and Square are clearly reviewing their Twitter mentions and making a sincere effort to engage with customers even when a response may not be expected. A simple retweet or “favorite” can go a long way in creating brand loyalty.
Customer service in Twitter doesn’t need to be difficult. Follow these tips and you’ll be on my “Winners” list in no time:

  • Answer all questions where your brand is @mentioned
  • Answer them quickly
  • Strive for “First Tweet Resolution”
  • Bonus points for showing empathy, personalizing the response, thanking the customer, and/or acknowledging a bad experience

Join The Conversation

  • Mar 29 Posted 3 years ago Nico Prinsloo

    Thank you for a nice readable post and valuable examples.

    Can use this as a ticking list with my own efforts. Especially liked the Charles Schwab example of timeousness, acknowledgement and empathy. WIll bookmark this post.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • josephcmarcus's picture
    Mar 25 Posted 3 years ago josephcmarcus

    Thanks for the followup article to the non-responders. I am just now getting the nonprofit I work for setup with a conversation monitoring system so we can be more attentive to the needs of our donors. Looking forward to integrating some of your tips into our Twitter customer service process!

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