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Customer Service on Twitter

It used to be that if someone received bad customer service, there wasn't much she could do about it. Ask for a manager, vent to friends and family, or just shrug it off and promise (oftentimes futilely) to never spend money at that establishment again. But then social media entered our lives. And now if we have a bad experience with a restaurant, airline, shop, or service, there are plenty of places we can go to spread the word: Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Angie's List, and everyone's favorite: Twitter.

Because it is now so easy for anyone and everyone to share their customer experiences-both good and bad- on Twitter, it is great when a company can use the platform effectively to deal with customer service issues, answer questions, solve problems, and most important: give a customer a sense of satisfaction that she's been listened to and helped. In most cases, people just want to feel like they've been heard and a response from someone on Twitter can provide them with that personal interaction, all the while boosting a positive sentiment and brand loyalty.

Here are a few brands we think are doing a great job with customer service on Twitter:


Zappos was known for its stellar customer service long before Twitter existed. (In Internet time, anyway.) They use Twitter to maintain that reputation. Any tweet that includes @Zappos or @Zappos_Service is seen by their dedicated customer service team and almost every tweet receives a reply. In order to make the @Zappos_Service feed more personal, representatives "sign in and out" with personalized greetings when their shift starts letting them know who's handling the tweets and asking customers if they need anything.

The thing that makes @Zappos_Service so great isn't just that they're quick to answer questions about products and delivery times, they also engage customers complimenting them on their purchases or just shooting the breeze about the weather, work out jams, and pets. Their conversational, yet helpful style is spot on.

@Zappos_Service to Drew from Ian. #poemsfromtheheart #poem

— Bess (@norris_bess) February 11, 2014


Nordstrom's promotional tweets are pretty much what you'd expect from the retailer: pics from the runway, streets shots of high fashion, messages about sales, and links to product. What we love about the brand though is the way they engage with their customers.

Their apologies for delayed or incorrect orders always feel concerned and genuine, which is key. But they go beyond that by interacting with their fashion-obsessed customers in a way that's personal and fun. In just one hour, they told a customer who received a package from Nordstrom and tagged it #mexico to "Have a blast!"

@KellyJadeSmall Have a blast in Mexico, Kelly! Thanks for shopping online with us.

— Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) February 13, 2014

Another customer tweeted about how much she loved her new shoes and they replied saying they loved them too and asking if she had an outfit picked out yet.

@alyseokumura We love your new pumps too, Alyse! Do you have an outfit pick out?

— Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) February 13, 2014

Someone tweeted that she felt she was meant to work at Nordstrom and they directed her to their career page.

@meganholttt Have you checked out our career page, Megan? If not, here is the link:

— Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) February 13, 2014

And another customer received a compliment on her "lush red lippy and matching bag."

@RitaKorkounian Your lush red lippy and matching bag look stunning with this chic ensemble, Rita. :)

— Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) February 13, 2014

Sure it's their job, but the upbeat and helpful nature manages to make it feel like the person on the other side is actually a friend.

Jet Blue

Nothing irks the general public as much as air travel. Flight delays, missed connections, lost luggage, paying for bad food and spotty Wi-Fi, it seems the entire travel experience from check-in to baggage claim is just one big opportunity for passengers to complain on Twitter.

And while Jet Blue screws up as much as the next guy, the thing that sets them apart from other airlines is how they graciously they handle their customer interactions, even when the complaint is about something that's out of their control, like weather delays and mechanical issues. And it doesn't hurt that they're also quick to tweet to passengers just for the fun of it, wishing them happy birthday or letting them know they'll be ditching the mittens for sunscreen after they fly from NYC to LA. And when they screw up, they admit it. Even when it's got nothing to do with air travel.

@JetBlue it's fine, I still love you guys :)

— Jordan Boddie (@Runway1R) February 13, 2014

@killerfemme Look like you'll be trading in your mittens for sunscreen. It's supposed to reach 80 this afternoon. Have a great flight!

— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) February 13, 2014

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In the age of Amazon Prime and free shipping, we've become quite entitled when it comes to receiving our packages on time. And with good reason. Many of us rely on two-day shipping to order things we can't always find locally, like a special dog food or the perfect pair of shoes for a wedding. And when those packages don't arrive on time, our world can fall into total chaos. (And no, it's never our fault for not planning ahead!)

As one of the major shipping companies, UPS hears about a lot of delayed and missing packages. And most of the time, they don't hear about it in a way that is friendly or polite. Which is why the way they respond to customer complaints is even more impressive. For every complaint, they apologize and offer to look into the situation, often giving customers the information for which they were searching. Sure, we all wish we lived in a world where every package arrived perfectly intact and on time, but human error and weather make that impossible. It's nice to know that at least someone at UPS is there to listen and help.

@Capa6echo I'm sorry about the delay. Please dm us your tracking info and we can look into it for you. ^DA @UPS

— UPS Customer Support (@UPSHelp) February 7, 2014


Nike Support takes the "Just Do It" concept to a new level, responding to user tweets at an astonishing rate. Whether they're helping someone find a shoe that won't give them shin splints, help with tech support for a FuelBand, or just letting customers know their complaints or suggestions are being heard, they consistently provide excellent service.

@ToddLessa Happy to hear it. Also, you're the awesome one.

— Nike Support (@NikeSupport) February 13, 2014

@mdrtweets We'll take this one. We don't have a trade-up exchange process in place, but we're happy to share your feedback with our team.

— Nike Support (@NikeSupport) February 13, 2014

American Airlines

What? TWO airlines on this list? We had to include American Airlines if only for the awesome way they handled a tweet in July of 2013 from a father who was traveling with three children and was concerned he was going to miss his connecting flight. The dad started the conversation on the ground and continued it while he was in the air. Ultimately, American Airlines held his connecting flight for him and when he arrived, the gate agent sweetly announced, ""The Silberbergs have arrived. We have been waiting for you."

@ideagov Alan, we'll reach out to the airport to see if we can get you some help. You'll be arriving gate K9 and departing from gate K6

— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) July 14, 2013

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers does a fabulous job of interacting with their customers on Twitter. Whether they're answering questions, offering encouragement, or giving advice, it's clear they listen and care. But that's only one reason we love them.

Last year, Weight Watchers noticed that actress and comedian Ana Gasteyer was sending them some pretty funny tweets.

Hey @Weightwatchers, how many Activity points for sweatily trying to get out of a Spanx undershirt?

— Ana Gasteyer (@AnaGasteyer) December 1, 2012

Hey @WeightWatchers how many #activitypoints for re-threading string thru the waistband of my gym shorts? Came out in dryer so can't workout

— Ana Gasteyer (@AnaGasteyer) January 1, 2013

Realizing they were on to something pretty special-a celebrity who was already a genuine brand advocate-they wasted no time in calling her up and offering her a spokesperson position instead. She accepted.

Just goes to show how important it is for brands to pay attention. You never know what may evolve from a simple conversation.

So what can brands that aren't using Twitter to interact with customers learn from these examples? It's simple.

1. Listen for your brand name.

2. Be prompt.

3. Be personal.

4. Be humble.

5. Have a sense of humor when appropriate.

6. Do everything possible to provide a solution.

Let us know about your positive experiences in the comments. We love stories with happy endings.

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