By Simon Frank, Webhelp Solutions Consultant at Webhelp UK
Twitter has recently announced that its users will be able to chat away with larger DMs.
The popular microblogging platform has now lifted the cap on its Direct Messages by doing away with the 140-character limit, allowing instead for unrestricted conversation.
Sachin Agarwal, Twitter’s product manager for Direct Messages, said: “Our users will now have the flexibility to write longer and express themselves in a more natural and comfortable way.”
Twitter is no doubt keen to keep up with other chat and messaging apps, but what exactly does this change mean for brands utilising the social networking service as part of its customer service offering?
Well, first off – it’s good news. It should enhance the customer experience.
Both parties will now be able to say what they want to say quicker as it will be easier to send more information through the DMs, allowing for a more effective conversation.
This essentially means that customers will find themselves spending less elapsed time trying to resolve a query as the number of interactions will decrease with agents crafting more detailed, comprehensive responses while they take advantage of a much more complete description from the customer.
An improved customer experience is now on the cards as agents will be able to get to the heart of the matter in the first DMs, resolving the matter more efficiently to the customers benefit. Some may fear that the extra length of DMs from and to the customer will increase the work effort and require more resources.
This may happen, however it is likely to reduce the number of posts required to resolve a problem. Hopefully this will even out although we will all have to measure to see the impact. We also feel we will see increases in other outcomes like first time resolution and customer satisfaction as a consequence of these changes.
With all this new space for messages between the customer and customer service, let’s not get carried away and overdo it. After all we don’t want to start treating longer DMs like email. Twitter is still going to need fast response times and brevity is always better on social media (as long as the answer is complete).
As Conversocial rightly point out on their review of the announcement (http://www.conversocial.com/blog/twitter-dms-will-soon-be-as-long-as-you-need#.VdJeJlNViko) at least we should see the end of those horrible customer service tweets which say “please email customer services at ….”
With most brands using a specific social media response tool such as Lithium or Conversocial it will be interesting how quickly they roll out the changes required in their platforms.
Needless to say this news brings both opportunities and may bring challenges. As with all new channels and channel changes, accurate measurement and tracking will give us the answers, but overall the result will be positive.