The 5 Biggest B2C Twitter Red Cards


Twitter is a brand’s social savior and worst nightmare all at the same time. Whilst it’s a wonderfully powerful tool to help build, promote and establish your business, this can all also be very quickly picked apart by unhappy customers broadcasting their negative experiences for all to see.

In my personal experience, I’ve found that I can email and call a company all day and night to no prevail, or if they do respond it’s a half-hearted, rushed email that doesn’t really resolve my issue. However, when I take to the Twitter world and send a public, direct tweet to the company in question, they usually respond straight away and publicly provide me with an overly friendly, generous solution.

It’s all about image with social media, and consumers know how to play this.

With this in mind, let’s break down the 5 biggest nono’s of customer interaction on Twitter

1 – ‘Copy and Paste’ replies

Now, I have to say that I actually really enjoy Mcdonald’s social marketing, and love the fact that they aim to reply to as many customers as possible. But have a scroll through their ‘Tweets and Replies’ tab – It’s the same 3 replies sent each time! This immediately devalues the response when the receiver has a glance at all of the brand’s interactions. Mcdonalds, I know you have millions of followers and the same amount of tweets to reply to, but don’t try and tell me that you don’t have the resource or man power to mix up your responses a bit!

2 – Spelling errors

Aaaarghhh! You’re professionals, hired to do this job. So WHY are you responding to customers with grammatically flawed tweets?! It really takes only a matter of seconds to skim back over your tweet before you broadcast it to every single one of your followers, so for the love of god do it! As soon as you respond to a customer with a tweet that contains errors, you look a) Incompetent  b) unprofessional c) disengaged. In short, it quickly makes your company look amateur and your response rushed. It’s such a small, easy thing to avoid, that’s why it drives me so nuts!

‘runing’, RUNING? ASOS, hang your head in shame.

3 – Ignorance

Like I mentioned earlier, tweets you send to disgruntled customers are your chance to redeem yourself (for everyone to see). So don’t just be nice, be overtly ‘let me polish your shoes and run you a bubble bath’ nice. If you have wronged a customer and then follow this up by responding to their unhappy tweet with an unhelpful, ignorant statement, well, god help you.

Hawke & Co, you’ve just secured yourself as that mean kid at school who’d steal everyone’s Pokemons and throw Bluetack at girl’s hair.. and nobody wants to be friends with that kid. Even a ‘please DM us’ response to get this angry customer off the public space would have been better than this! Not only have you lost yourself a customer, you’ve completely damaged your brand image and tone. Meanies!

4 – Taking too long to reply

Some customer queries are more ‘need it now’ kinda issues, so replying a full 24 hours after the customer tweeted you pretty much defeats the USP of Twitter customer service – the fast pace.

I’ve had some amazing experiences with brands responding promptly. In particular, ASOS and Larsson and Jennings have secured themselves as brands I will be forever loyal to after their faultless response times and helpfulness. However, some brands just haven’t quite got there yet, and as one of the most prominent features of Twitter interaction, this needs to be addressed, stat!

Granted, it wasn’t a purely KFC directed tweet, but a full 20 hours?! That is outrageous!

When consumers begin to view you as a company who don’t work to resolve queries promptly, well, you just sink into the shadows with the rest of the mediocre brands. And you don’t want that, do you?

5 – Generic responses

It is understandable that brands who have hundreds if not thousands of tweets directed at them daily may have to regurgitate tweets every so often, but there are certain responses that every consumer can predict a mile off.

Oh no!…’


‘So sorry about that…’

‘If you’d just pop this in a DM…’

‘If you’d contact our customer service team…’

The ‘light’ tone of these responses from Missguided’s help page is actually a really positive tool as it makes the frustrated consumer feel more relaxed, and as if they’re interacting with an understanding pal. However, the responses from this page are all.exactly.the same. And I’m going to be honest, it drives me slightly bonkers!

Mixing up the responses even just by a fraction would have such a positive influence on the experience a consumer has when engaging with a brand, and would make them feel like much more of a valued customer, rather than another twitter handle for the brand to direct a blanket tweet to.

Those are my biggest twitter – related customer service woes. What are yours? Tweet me

Social Media Today RSS