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As social media has evolved, more customers have learned to expect increasingly better responses to their customer service requests. Many large companies give customers the option to email or instant chat regarding problems with products or services, but the truly in-the-know companies maintain Twitter accounts where they can offer personalized, excellent service. Today, we’re going to look at 5 brands that are doing this absolutely right.

@YNAB

The budgeting app You Need A Budget has revolutionised how people track and spend their money. A smartphone friendly version of the old envelope system, YNAB has been known for years for its phenomenal customer support. During a recent rollout, its Twitter support was a keystone for keeping everything running smoothly during a normally disruptive period.

If you follow @YNAB, you not only see answers to common questions within the software, you also see updates to FAQs, problem solving, and rapid responses to issues. The YNAB team offers fairly basic support through their Twitter account, but they do it excellently.

@GouletPens

Proving that you don’t have to be a huge company to rock online customer service, the Twitter account at Goulet Pens, a small company focused on fountain pens, fountain pen ink, and paper products, has become successful in part through its devoted following. The staff at Goulet Pens responds very quickly to any incoming tweets, whether they’re about a product, an order, or something that might be special ordered.

One of the reasons that customers love social media for customer support is that it can be so fast. Especially when the customer perceives their question as simple, they want an answer right away. The faster you provide them with that answer, the better the odds are that they’ll recommend you to their friends.

@WholeFoods

Most companies use their Twitter handles to offer customer support and perhaps to self-promote. Whole Foods does all of that but also uses their account to tweet recipes, share stories and articles, and educate its customers on healthy living and wellness.

Educating customers helps them trust you more when they need answers. If you maintain a blog or another form of content marketing, this is the easiest way to generate content for your social media feeds that can be educational and informative. 

@Zappos

One thing to remember is that customer service should be professional, but doesn’t have to be overly formal if that doesn’t match your brand. Customer service at Zappo’s is a great example. They’re always professional, but often seem willing to have a laugh.

If you’re using humour on your social media accounts, just remember that not all jokes translate across all identity intersections. If you’re not sure about a term or word, it’s better to leave it off than offend a customer and hurt someone.

@Comcast

Cable companies are notorious for offering lousy customer service, but the account at Comcast is attentive, responds quickly, and is respectful and engaging. The team also signs all of their tweets with their first and last initial, which is a best practice if you have multiple users managing your Twitter account.

As soon as your business is on Twitter, you need to be prepared for customers to ask you questions. You need to have a plan for who is going to respond to tweets, what resources they should use to answer questions, and how often they’re going to check the account.

While you still want to maintain other avenues for customers to seek customer support, expect to see the percentage asking for help over social media to continue to trend upwards as time goes on.