There’s an article in the Times about the critical role that Twitter has come to play in customer service, particularly for airlines. The piece cites an example of Seth Miller, a blogger, who uses Twitter to communicate with airlines whenever there’s a hitch:
Before the plane door shut, Mr. Miller exchanged a few tweets with a customer service representative and provided his information through a direct message. When he landed, he had another message telling him his connecting flight had been secured.
In this way, Twitter’s Direct Message feature is similar to Facebook’s revitalized Messenger, which advertises its new capability to chat directly with representatives from Everlane, FedEx, or Zulily – a clear attempt to steer businesses toward Facebook’s platform. However, Twitter has the ability to get the attention of companies and other consumers in a way that Facebook doesn’t really, since Twitter is more of a public square (with the potential to “shame” brands), and Facebook is more of a social circle of friends.
All of that said, Twitter has undoubtedly proved to be the best way to interact with consumers. Within the past few months, I’ve interacted with US Airways, Barclays, Handy, and REI, all through Twitter DM, and all relatively painlessly. It truly heralds a new frontier in customer service. And anything to avoid hold music.