Here at Social Report we use a basic ticketing system that allows customers ask questions and allows us to track our response to them. Each ticket is a conversation. This setup is quite standard and simple to manage. With emergence of social networks as means of communication many companies communicate with their customers using Twitter (among other options).
A customer may tweet “Hey @SomeCompany – I having a problem with my account” and the company may respond “Hello @TheCustomer, sorry, can you let us know what specifically is not working?”. You get the idea.
The problem is that unlike traditional form of communication (did I just call email – traditional? J) – this chat ends up being seen by all of your followers. Is this ideal? Your customer’s question was not visible to your followers. Your response is however! If you are using your Twitter feed as means of communicating with your followers about your product, latest news, news features. When someone follows you on Twitter in some ways they are entrusting you with being respectful of their privacy. The will most certainly stop following you if you start abusing this trust. This customer support inquiry response may be the noise that your followers simply don’t need. They may also get annoyed. So basically while you were trying to help one customer you just annoyed all others.
Would you be interested in hearing about another person’s issue? Probably not! It is obviously somewhat subjective – some may argue that fostering conversation is a great community building tactic. This is what may get others to take part in discussions. Others may however say that information overload is a big issue already – that figuring out a way to only see information that is relevant to you is difficult as it stands.
To be completely fair however certain questions and responses are great for all to see. This may indeed be appropriate for us and not appropriate for others. Just considers all pros and cons when deciding to support your customers using any social media platforms.