Using Increased Twitter Character Count to Improve Your Customer Service

At the start of the year, the internet was buzzing with the rumour that Twitter was going to lift its tweet length restrictions so you could write long updates. People held varying opinions on this but many thought it would rob the platform of the very thing which set it apart from its peers, namely the fact that people have to be imaginative in how they communicate. While the number bandied about of tweets being lengthened to 10,000 characters seems to have been more tittle-tattle than truth, Twitter has in fact announced changes.

What Changes Are Planned for Twitter?

Twitter arrived on the scene just over 10 years ago and it quickly became the go-to platform for individuals, businesses, and celebrities alike. When news broke somewhere in the world it was usually to Twitter that people turned as the woman or man-in-the-street in those locations could send out updates in real time. It was also a great way for businesses to keep their audience up to date with their latest news, events and new releases of products and services.

The positive element to the 140-character limit on tweets was that users had to communicate their message succinctly but also imaginatively if they wanted to make an impact. What made the platform difficult from the perspective of many businesses was the customer service element. For example, when you had to reply to someone and their user name took up a large percentage of the characters available to you. While you could tweet one message after another, sometimes what you were trying to say got lost in the breaks between the tweets.

The good news is that Twitter has now announced that while the 140 character element will remain, what they are not going to include in that number is the twitter handle of the person you are addressing. Nor will any media attachments, such as images, videos and quoted tweets, count against the overall character figure.

In addition, users of the platform will be able to quote and retweet themselves, something that was sadly lacking before. This means that if you want a reply to be seen by all your followers you can retweet it and it will go out more broadly. These changes will be rolled out over several months so it may take a little time before you see them in action on your account.

Good News for Businesses

With these changes, it should now be easier to serve your clients better, especially in the arena of customer service. Many businesses have focused the core of their customer service on Twitter because of the immediacy of the platform. If a member of staff is dedicated to answering customer’s questions or complaints the business can ensure issues are handled before they escalate or before the customer loses faith in the business they were previously loyal to.

Because you will have more characters to play with in tweets once these changes come into effect, it should make client communication run much more smoothly on the platform. First, you will now be able to respond in greater detail due to the increased number of characters available, and second, you can provide them with further information, via image or video replies, as again, these won’t be included in the character count.

3 More Ways to Improve Customer Service on Twitter

If the brevity of the character count has been holding you back from using Twitter as a customer service platform then these changes may help you realise its value. If you want to improve your customers’ experience on Twitter still further, try these three customer service ideas.

  • If you have several customer service agents then why not add their twitter handles to your company bio on Twitter, that way your followers can address their question to a particular person and help your business seem more real. Research has shown that people like to communicate with staff members rather than with a faceless brand.
  • Another approach is to end the tweet with the first name or initials of the person representing your company, again to give it a more personal approach.
  • A final option is to include your customer service representatives’ images on your Twitter header image or profile picture instead of, or combined with, your company’s logo. This makes you seem more approachable and if people have a complaint they sometimes get less angry when they feel they are speaking to a person rather than a corporate brand.

Twitter is a free platform and as such can be a great resource for communicating with your customers. With the additional space that will be available in tweets soon, it just got even easier to reach out and connect with your audience.

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