Twitter is a great tool to help achieve a number of business and marketing goals , whether they be promoting content, connecting with prospects or building relationships with other thought leaders and industry experts.  However, there is one Twitter use I think many may overlook -- the opportunity to facilitate customer support. 

In an effort to streamline customer support throughout the upcoming tax season, popular online tax software TurboTax is launching a new initiative to help its customers (and other taxpayers) through the daunting process of paying taxes by answering questions on -- you guessed it -- Twitter! 

TeamTurboTax on Twitter

As of yesterday, TurboTax has created a new Twitter account, @TeamTurboTax , specifically devoted to the new initiative and enlisted 14 of its employees to answer people's software and general tax questions.  Similarly, TurboTax has also created a TurboChat application on its Facebook page for the very same purpose. 

Why it works for marketing and PR:

In my opinion, this is brilliant!  I love seeing companies using Twitter as more than just an endless feed to promote their content, and as a public relations professional, using social media for customer relations and customer support completely makes sense.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. TurboTax is going where its customer already are.  Rather than making them sign up for another support website or using a separate chat service, TurboTax is giving its customers the opportunity to communicate using an application they may already be signed up for.
  2. It's timely.  Tax season is without a doubt a busy time for a company like TurboTax.  Eliciting other tools such as social media sites to manage the influx of customer support issues is smart.
  3. It's public.  TurboTax is taking something that is usually a one-on-one, customer-to-support process out in the open for the world to see.  Take a look at the TeamTurboTax feed and anyone can see how well they're handling customer issues.  Done right, and this can be great for TurboTax's PR efforts.
  4. It exhibits industry expertise to non-customers.  Not only is TurboTax answering questions from their software's customers but also from non-customers. Answering general tax questions shows their tax paying expertise and possibly attracts new customers to its software.

So now one question remains.  Are you taking advantage of Twitter to interact with and support your customers?  If not, start brainstorming ways you can utilize the tool to benefit your customer service efforts!

 

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Originally published Feb 2, 2010 1:46:00 PM, updated October 20 2016

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Twitter Marketing Examples