In its tenth year, Twitter's defining characteristics have changed rather dramatically. Companies have often found value in Twitter's ability to foster brand awareness and as a way to follow news and industry trends. However, new studies suggest it now can be categorized as a method to increase customer spending and up the likelihood of securing customer loyalty. While we know a positive interaction with customers through any social media platform helps with a brand's reputation, these findings prove it could actually push them to spend more time and money with your organization in the future. What more motivation do you need to start interacting with customers on Twitter? Here's a breakdown of the study and how you can take advantage.
Twitter's recent study proved that the power of social media is more than just cultivating brand awareness, it could lead to some serious boost in revenue. Their main discovery? Customer service pays off. Twitter partnered with Applied Marketing Science to analyze customer interactions between airlines and their customers. What they found was pretty awesome.
"The faster and more frequently a brand replies to a customer interaction (whether it be a negative or positive initial comment) the more money that customer is willing to spend for the same products or services."
The catch? You have to be quick. Twitter "found that when an airline responded to a customer’s Tweet in less than 6 minutes, the customer was willing to pay almost $20 more for that airline" in the future. However, when they took longer than an hour to respond - a customer was willing to pay only $2 more.
In another study done this year, Twitter found even more positive news for businesses. They used the same formula previously used for airline companies, but for quick service food companies and telecom organizations. Their research proved that "customers who received replies [to tweets] were more satisfied with their experience, more willing to recommend the business, and willing to pay more money for that business’s products in the future". The quick service customers were willing to pay up to 20% more and the telecom customers up to 10% more. These findings are encouraging for communities in every industry, including for workplace leaders. Simply responding to customer inquiries in a reasonable amount of time increases not only the likelihood they'll do business with you again, but that they would pay more for the exact same service than before your interaction.
These studies show the powerful influence social media, specifically Twitter, can have on your customer's behavior with your workplace. And even though as the facilities leader, your employees may not be paying to work at your office (unless you operate a coworking space), their satisfaction directly reflects the overall success of your business. It's your job to be sure their needs are met. So, how can you leverage this new information to your benefit? Start by adding these steps to your routine:
Whether your employees are complaining about how cold the office conference room is or praising the new lobby layout, respond to each inquiry and quickly address any issues. If an employee is complaining about the parking struggle she faces every morning, offer suggestions on how it's being addressed. Even if a visitor compliments your office holiday decorations, say thank you! The worst thing you could do is ignore a positive or negative mention. Everyone will see that a question or comment went unanswered, and that's the worst publicity you can have.
You're busy, and social media may be the furthest thing from your mind, but it shouldn't be. Your customers should come first, and if they're reaching out to you on social media, you should be there for them. If responding within an hour isn't feasible for your workplace, try having someone monitor your pages every few hours throughout the workday. In the morning, at lunch, and right before closing are good benchmarks to start at. If you're not in charge of your workplace's social media, have a talk with your marketing department. They may have the resources to monitor them for you, while keeping you in the loop of any customer service issues or maintenance requests that come your way.
Many social media managers think that a negative comment or publicized complaint is the absolute worst thing that can happen. Good news, it's not. It turns out "69% of people who Tweeted negatively say they feel more favorable when a business replies to their concern", and that positive interaction isn't just with that person, it can be viewed by their followers and yours. It's important that customers see you addressing the negative when those problems do arise. However, if the issue is more of a private matter or isn't appropriate for public eyes, mention the complaint publicly and offer to resolve the problem through Twitter's direct message platform or by the way of your customer service team.
We've known since the beginning of social media that staying active on these platforms benefits the customer and increases brand awareness, but now there's evidence of it benefiting a company's bottom line too. Use this new information to increase your workplace's presence on Twitter, and all of your social networks. We're sure you'll see happier and a more engaged workforce as a result. We'd love to hear your thoughts, Tweet to @iofficecorp. Happy tweeting!
Kaitlan Whitteberry is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Missouri's journalism program, and currently focuses on iOFFICE press releases, software updates and related news.