Apple Support Adds Customer Service via New Twitter Account
Earlier today, Apple went live with a new Apple Support account on Twitter to offer customers another way to find answers to questions as well as solutions to their device problems. By late afternoon Eastern time Apple Support on Twitter had already grown to more than 77,000 followers.
"We're here to provide tips, tricks and helpful information when you need it most, and if you have a question, well -- we're here to help with that, too," according to the account's profile description. One of Apple's first tweets after announcing the new account offered tips for how to turn lists on the Apple Notes app into checklists.
Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey noted Apple Support's arrival on his site with a tweet that said, "A huge welcome to @AppleSupport! Now using Twitter to provide customer support through tweets and DMs!" Apple did not respond to our request for more information about the reasons for launching a new support account on Twitter at this time.
Twitter Accounts the 'New 1-800 Numbers'
With its support for a range of communication options -- from one-to-one direct messaging to mass broadcasting to followers -- Twitter is used by many companies for customer service as well as tech support. In addition to its primary Twitter account, Apple also provides support for Apple Music through its Apple Music Help account.
Twitter is the "new 1-800 number for customer service," according to Salesforce's Desk cloud-based help desk service. Salesforce recommends that businesses establish dedicated support handles separate from their main Twitter accounts to handle customer questions and support requests.
As far back as three years ago, 67 percent of business customers said they used companies' social media channels for service help, according to a 2013 "Social Media Benchmark Study" from J.D. Power and Associates. Twitter's latest user figures show the microblogging site has 320 million monthly active users who pay 1 billion visits a month to sites with embedded tweets.
New Twitter Tools for Customer Support
Just last month, Twitter announced the launch of two new tools to enable companies to provide better customer service via its site. The new features made it easier for users to switch from public conversations to private direct messages, and added the ability to solicit open-ended customer feedback after service conversations.
Some advertisers say more than 80 percent of their social media-initiated inbound customer service requests come through Twitter, according to Twitter.
"[N]ot only are their customers more satisfied, but they also see a cost per resolution that is 1/6 the cost of a call center interaction," Twitter said of businesses using its service. "And this leads to increased brand loyalty and sales: recent research shows that when a customer tweets a question or complaint to an airline and receives a response, they're willing to pay on average $9 more for their next purchase from that airline."
Image Credit: Twitter and Apple.