Despite not making it a key focus, Twitter has always been the leading social platform for customer service queries, with the public nature of tweets helping provide consumers with additional leverage to get their questions answered quickly.
But lately, Facebook's been looking to muscle in on Twitter's turf - building on the rising popularity of messaging, Facebook's working to make Messenger a key customer service and shopping platform, capable of handling all your commerce needs in an intimate, personalized manner.
And while Twitter's focus is on combating trolls, simplifying the platform for new users and streaming live sports, they have also been making some effort to evolve their customer service offerings and provide new options in line with wider trends.
Their latest upgrade on this front comes in the form of location sharing via DM, which will enable businesses to provide more relevant advice based on the requestor's physical proximity.
As you can see, the process is fairly straight-forward - in this example, TGI Fridays is using a messaging bot to provide nearby store info as requested. Other applications might include service outage reports when the power's down in your area, nearby stockists, maybe even a means of requesting more accurate roadside assistance when your car breaks down. There's a range of ways the option could be used - it's a simple, logical use of location-tracking capacity.
Location-tracking itself is actually an interesting area of potential, with all platforms working to find ways to utilize location data that doesn't come off as intrusive, but does provide additional utility. Facebook, for example, recently launched 'Live Location' sharing in Messenger to help users connect with friends nearby.
This comes after various other attempts by Facebook to utilize location sharing, with many seen as a little creepy and 'stalker-ish'. But the value of the option is significant - Facebook has access to all sorts of information about where you are and where you've been, data it could use to better personalize and focus their service. They just need to work out how to utilize such data in a way that respects user privacy.
The best way to do this may be through advertising - last year, Facebook introduced 'Dynamic Ads for Retail' which enable retailers to showcase only the products they have available in the store location that's closest to the person seeing the ad, along with the price of the item in that store.
That provides practical value for location sharing, in a similar way to proximity ads and other nearby variations, options that use your location data but provide immediate value.
When done well, such options can help drive better response - but there's always a balancing act with location data. Most consumers are not at the stage where they feel comfortable being 'tracked' as yet.
For Twitter, this option also marks their latest shift towards enhancing DMs for customer service.
Last September, they introduced new support options and display tools for brand profiles to help customers better understand their customer service options - which include a prominent 'Message' button for those that provide customer assistance.
They also added a new welcome message option to greet customers as they enter a Direct Message conversation and quick replies to automate the connection process.
All of these provide additional functionality, helping to enable better connection via Twitter DMs, which can improve and streamline customer service on the platform.
As noted, Twitter hasn't made customer service on the platform a major focus, which seems strange considering the opportunities on that front. But even so, these tools enable better connection capacity and can greatly enhance your customer efforts on the platform - worth considering for any business looking to provide additional options via tweet.