At the Restaurant Marketing and Delivery Association annual meeting I gave a talk on using social media as a customer engagement tool, especially for service. I asked for a show of hands, how many businesses used twitter for customer service? How many monitored it steadily?

Out of the 100 attendees, about 4 raised their hands. 4? That is worse than having a phone number but no phone.

When you have a phone number and no phone, people- customers- can call all day and no one will answer. You have no idea if they are happy or angry, want to buy, or have an idea. But a phone is one to one communication. Only the caller knows if the call isn’t answered.

Twitter is one to many.  Every person who follows a user gets the same message- they see the tweet and they see the gaping void that follows. 140 characters is plenty of space to get across:

  • Hey @business you shd call Bob’s Deli about joining your restaurant network. They are interested. Ask 4 Bob (108 characters)
  • So happy with @business! Dinner was great and I didn’t have to cook or drive.  #happycustomer (78 characters)
  • Where is my FOOD!? Hungry and tired here. This is getting ridiculous.  Tick tock! #lowbloodsugar #nexttimemakeshaghetti (119 characters)

If you don’t monitor your twitter account you will never know what your customers are saying to and about you. But hundreds or thousands will. When someone calls you answer. When they tweet you should do the same.