As early as the 19th century, “tweet” was a charming term in the English language, evocative of the gentle vocal stylings of small birds. Now it refers to the music of a rather different beast, one that, at its loudest, can deafen and defeat businesses. Twitter, among other social platforms, has in recent years become a mighty digital megaphone for many frustrated (or conversely, happy) customers. A Tweet has become so much a part of communication in certain cultures and how they interact with the world that it is not just a noun: It’s a very powerful verb. And, as we’ve seen in now notorious cases (lest we forget the United Airlines incident), it’s become a way for customers to size up and shout about serious blunders in customer service to an ever-growing court of public opinion.
That being said: Social media platforms aren’t solely used for public brand-shaming. In fact, we should regard them with even a smidgen of positivity, as they are unique conversation channels that present pathways towards establishing and maintaining relationships with customers. For those of us invested in improving our customer support offerings, we must acknowledge social media as a remarkable space in which to play. It presents a unique opportunity to offer customer support and service for legitimate customer support questions; that is, it’s possible to have a non-turbulent tête-à-tête on Twitter, Facebook, and other channels.