Twitter holds a great opportunity for companies to engage in conversation with customers about their products and services. And search is a great technology for discovering people who are twittering about you.
Last week I made a commented to a friends about Protoshare, an application for online collaborating on web design. We were just exchanging opinions, and I’ve never been in contact with Protoshare myself. So I was suprised the next day, when Protoshare suddenly followed me on Twitter. How did they find me? What do they want from me?
Protoshare is engaging in social network customer service. They are actually checking Twitter for mentions of their name, and they want to hear about my needs and wants, problems and frustrations. They want me to know about them, too. An expanded online presence will help them bring in new customers and reach out to existing customers. It’s an example to follow for companies with a net savy customer base.
The article “Getting on Board the Social Network” mentions another story, about Comcast initiating their customer service process just 1 minute after a customer vented his frustration on Twitter. Impressive.
Protoshare and other companies can use http://search.twitter.com to search the public timeline for mentions of their product. All Twitter searches can be obtained as RSS feeds, and that makes it quite easy for someone at Protoshare to monitor who’s discussing, promoting or complaining about them. I guess it takes some time and effort, but think about the impression it makes. It’s almost like knocking on someones door, explaining to them how you happened to hear their suffering as you walked by, and asking what you can do to help. That is good customer service!