Customer service is a key area of potential for Twitter, particularly as it looks to streamline its offerings and highlight its core purpose, amid varying negative storylines.
As we've reported previously, Twitter's own data shows that the majority of social customer service requests are submitted via tweet, with the immediacy of the platform and the public nature of such interactions providing users with a valuable opportunity to get faster responses from brands than they can through other networks or mediums.
Given this, it seems an obvious area of focus for the platform - and they have been working to improve their customer service tools and options.
And now, Twitter's introducing a new customer service option, with custom profiles in DMs that will enable brands to better highlight who the user is interacting with.
As you can see in the above image, the customer is messaging T-Mobile, but the response is coming from a personal profile, not a faceless brand account.
The option adds a more human touch to brand interactions - something many brands have tried to facilitate for years by adding a name or initials to a tweet to indicate who they're speaking with (Buffer, for example, does this).
@gergnotes A scheduled tweet definitely counts! :) Thanks for using Buffer, Greg! -Ross- Buffer (@buffer) February 22, 2017
And while this option won't be available for tweet interactions, it will enable this element in DMs - which, as noted, Twitter's been trying to present as a new opportunity for improved brand response, in line with wider messaging and direct communication trends.
In their announcement post, Twitter outlines the logic behind the new tool:
"According to our research, personalized experiences with a human connection can create significant benefits for businesses. 77% of people are likely to recommend a brand following a personalized customer service interaction on Twitter. Additionally, people are 19% more likely to feel like they've reached a resolution and 22% more likely to be satisfied compared to those who had impersonal interactions with a business on Twitter."
Providing a face, as opposed to logo, will also help users better understand when they're communicating with a person, as opposed to a bot. As noted by Marketing Land, there have been reported problems with bot interactions, with some users being confused as to which elements are automated, with customer service agents crossing wires with bot responses. By providing a representation of who, exactly, you're speaking with, it could improve the communication process and eliminate any such kinks.
And Twitter also highlights another potential use case:
"While T-Mobile uses custom profiles to highlight the human aspect of their service, custom profiles also create the opportunity for businesses to add personality to automated experiences by incorporating real or fictional characters."
So there's that too. Not sure how valuable that might be, but it is another option to consider.