Twitter recently announced that the 140-character limit on direct messages is now a thing of the past. For most casual users, this might seem only a minor adjustment, but for customer service agents and brands involved in social customer care, the change is significant. Coupled with the recent launch of new features on Facebook, this seems to signal that social media channels are beginning to recognize the power of social customer care and are making it easier for brands to communicate with their customers.
What this means for social customer care
Every brand on Twitter knows it’s a powerful tool for connecting with customers in real-time and keeping tabs on the social conversation. But the most defining characteristic of Twitter — the 140-character limit — is also its most inhibiting. The necessity of keeping messages short means that the conversation between customers and brands is always direct. This can make for quick, to-the-point communication which is great for solving simple issues or referring customers to a relevant webpage or customer care agent. But therein lies the problem — first contact resolution via Twitter is virtually impossible for anything but the simplest queries and complaints. That’s where the new, longer direct messages will come in.
First contact resolution is now a reality on Twitter
Now that brands have no limit to the length of their DMs, getting a customer’s email address or requesting a back channel contact is no longer the only possibility. Brands will now be able to provide detailed, in-depth responses to even the most complex customer queries, all without leaving Twitter. That means the advantages of social media — direct connections, immediacy, and flexibility — will now be coupled with the depth of customer care that was previously available only via email or call centers. That’s a huge step in the right direction, as brands are more likely to resolve customer issues directly on Twitter, leading to happier customers, more quickly. First contact resolution is the Holy Grail of customer service, and Twitter has just made it easier than ever.
Where are we going from here?
Twitter is only one customer care channel of many, but the changes we’re seeing aren’t limited to Twitter alone. As Brand Embassy recently reported, Facebook is embracing social customer care, adding new functionalities that make it easier for brands to connect with customers. And, Pinterest has launched a buy button, allowing users to buy products with the click of the mouse. This means of directly connecting brands and customers could be the first step toward social customer care via Pinterest.
Putting it all together
What can we learn from these recent developments on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest? It comes down to three key takeaways:
2) Facebook’s recent software developments show it’s taking social customer care seriously. Other channels — and brands — are likely to follow suit.
3) Pinterest’s new buy button is likely only the first step in a shift toward social customer care, providing one more channel for brands to monitor and one more way to connect to customers.
Is your brand using longer direct messages to connect with customers? Let us know how it’s working for you!