Around Christmas time, my boss ordered a new Dell laptop for his wife. Unfortunately, on the date it was supposed to arrive, he found that the order had not been processed. Additionally, he hadn’t been contacted about the matter. WTF!?
He spent the morning on the phone getting bounced around, placed on hold and over all getting no help. He asked me to find their Facebook or Twitter and see if there was anything I could do.
I was FLOORED to find that Dell IS on Twitter with dozens of accounts, featuring information like deals, new technology, the latest in fashion and music, and their efforts in environmental sustainability. What floored me is that not ONE of the 34 accounts listed was customer support or feedback.
Sure, they list @TeamDell, an account for all the Dell team members who want to be recognized for being Twitter users. But @TeamDell doesn’t tweet. They tweeted twice in June 2008.
Now that’s not to say they don’t have team members in customer support that actively seek and converse with Twitter users who are complaining about their Dell experience/products. However, if they do, Dell isn’t doing anything to help us find them.
What does that mean for Dell?
That means I’m going to complain about the craptacular experience I just had and my apprehension at EVER ordering a product from them again.
Not that I’d ever order something from Dell anyway, but you get the point.
The long and short of the issue is they’re opening themselves up for negative public feedback instead of providing an outlet for help, support and ORM.
So I started thinking about what I expect from corporate Twitter accounts. I know that it varies from business to business, but if it’s a service or a company I buy a product from, I expect a few things.
1. Let us know you’re on Twitter!
Include a Twitter icon or a “Follow us here” or “Hey, we’re on Twitter” type of badge or a visible link SOMEWHERE BEFORE THE BREAK of your site. Don’t make us scroll down to your footer links- give us something at the top of the page. Additionally, make sure it’s CLEAR that you’re on Twitter. Saying community, in my mind, sounds like a forum or entire social network in and of itself.
2. Talk to us!
Now, responding to followers doesn’t have to be an obligatory, “every time someone tweets our name, we have to tweet back at them” type of thing. However, if you’re tweeting ONLY as a one-sided marketing tool, you’re missing the point. If someone asks a valid question, acknowledge it. Even if you don’t have an answer, we like to know you’re listening (and really, we do appreciate it).
3. Keep us in the know!
I LOVE seeing messages like:
“We’re going down for updates in a couple minutes – sorry for the inconvenience, but we’ll be back up within the hour”
It tells us the service that is going down is keeping us in the loop. They want to make the service better, of course, and though it’s an inconvenience at the time, they give a warning that it’s happening or they advise their us that there’s nothing catastrophically wrong.
Now of course there are times when we want a solution. However, if there is some information that would better help us understand what’s going on, you’re making a great start.
4. Don’t spam us!
Seriously, do I even have to say this?
This includes mass @ messages (consisting of only usernames with no message) and tweeting the same message to different people over and over, among a multitude of others.
5. Be human and be honest!
Let us know who’s we’re talking to, whether it’s a team or an individual. It’s really simple. We understand the difference between a company that says it cares and a company that actually does.
I want to be clear – these are the absolute bare-necessity basics and I’m only scratching the surface. But they are a few things that I’ve come to expect from my favorite brands and businesses on Twitter.
What do you expect from businesses on Twitter?