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While Dell are living on a reputation of “Making $3,000,000 from Twitter” which is frankly somewhat overhyped in my opinion, they are only one of many companies using Twitter for customer service purposes.

As customer’s estimations of customer service have dropped substantially in recent years, not helped by outsourcing abroad to countries that don’t have a clue how to help you because they’re reading from a script, I believe Twitter has helped improve customer service. For some big brand name companies at least.

Social media is giving companies a great opportunity to listen to and interact directly with customers. Companies that are on Twitter offering customer support services have made it easy for us to get in touch to make a complaint, ask a question or lavish them with praise. Free of charge may I add.

Twitter can make or break companies reputations with customers like me; it gives empowers people to vent our frustration to an audience of tens of thousands of followers (or 10’s in my case ;) ) at companies poor products, service, bad experiences etc. This is what we call ‘naming and shaming’.

Twitter isn’t the only online domain helping businesses grow or causing decline. Several products have been tested and shamed over the years on YouTube (think Dominos Pizza) and Facebook has “appreciation societies” created for users to show their love for Ribena etc. The online social world is becoming a powerful one, and doubters of Twitter should only have to read the successful tales about Dell and co succeeding before dismissing it so easily.

Are you missing out on potential sales and support by not being on Twitter? Why not give it a try?

If you’d like to know more on social media and its application as a customer service tool my colleague, Stuart Crowder, wrote an interesting article on How to use Twitter for Customer Service that I recommend reading.