Just as Vincent said in his blog post yesterday, it's important to engage a community where they like to be as they won't necessarily come to you. And just as some people go to Facebook first for help, others go to Twitter.
The use of Twitter as a customer support channel is increasing as people's expectations surrounding customer service is changing. Today, 70% of customers would like twitter as an official customer service channel compared to only 25% six months ago*.
One of the best examples, I think, of customer service on twitter is Twelpforce. This was set up by Best Buy to allow their thousands of employees to answer queries through one channel on twitter. We're not resourced like Best Buy, but as giffgaff is a mobile network run by you, our force comes from our community.
So following our intergration with Facebook yesterday, we're proud to introduce a new twitter handle @giffgaffhelp. This will be used to separate our content from our support, communicate outages and deal with customer service issues.
Our biggest challenge in adding a customer service channel is resource and customer expectations. Twitter is 24/7 and the small team at giffgaff needs to clock off (Yes we do like to eat dinner, sleep and go to the cinema sometimes).
To combat this challenge, we'll integrate the new twitter account with the giffgaff community. Tweets can be pulled into the forum by a giffgaff advisor (or higher) as questions to be answered. (You can read more about how to do this in the giffgaff Twitter manual). As community support via twitter feed in the community has been successful so far, this will make it even better.
We're also introducing one more thing to help you help others on twitter. When you have a question or are answering one through your Twitter account, mark your tweet with #gghelp. As long as your Twitter account is attached to your giffgaff username, we can monitor your contribution. That way we can incorporate the Payback scheme to reward you, our 'tweet helpers,' every time you use #gghelp. Claire has also posted how we will do that on the noticeboard.
I often keep a search open for certain hashtags on twitter, so if your keen to provide giffgaff help on Twitter, add #gghelp to your list. It makes helping on Twitter even easier.
Tomorrow we'll continue our customer service week posts with one on support improvements from Claire. Look forward to seeing you all out there on Twitter!
* If you are interested in reading more on this and see where we got our stats, there is a slide show from a recent Ad:Tech presentation and an article on how customer service has changed in the past 6 months using BA and air travel as an example.