The Challenge in Using Twitter in Customer Service - Modern Distribution Management

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The Challenge in Using Twitter in Customer Service

More businesses are using the tool to communicate with customers, but before jumping in, find out if the medium is right for you.
Date announced this week that it will roll out new features for its "cloud" product – this iteration of its Service Cloud includes capabilities to integrate customer service functions with none other than Twitter, the social networking site where people can update their "status" or share information with friends, customers and strangers 140 characters at a time. quotes ServiceMax in its press release on the topic, saying it has integrated the Twitter features into its product. The marketing chief there says: "We are immediately rolling it out to our customers. Send us a tweet with product and part information, and we’ll come fix your problem."
MDM has a Twitter feed at And in our relatively short experience with the medium, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the growing number of distributors and manufacturers who are communicating with employees, customers and potential customers via the medium. We’ve seen WESCO, Rockwell Automation, Graybar, Rexel, and more – "tweeting" and sharing links on topics like HR challenges, the Smart Grid, green, the economy and anything else that’s hot and important right now. Several software companies that serve the distribution space are also in the Twitter universe.
Here’s a piece published on the Web site of Time magazine on "10 Ways Twitter Will Change Business." In the introduction, it notes both opportunities and obvious challenges of using Twitter in the customer service and marketing realm. Opportunities include building brand, sharing research, sending information to customers on upcoming sales/promotions and creating communities of customers. On the other hand, understanding the space is crucial to any company that uses it. As the intro states, the "Twitter community could turn against a marketer viewed as being too crass by being relentlessly self-promoting. Twitter users have set up their own rules of conduct when using the service."
Though it may be the hottest new social networking tool out there, it may not be right for your business or your customer base. There’s plenty of research out there on the Web on the topic – do a quick Google search for Twitter and business and read up on the possibilities.

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