Twitter Announces Customer Service Features for Businesses including Surveys and Link to Direct Messages

Twitter has announced new Customer Service features for businesses on the social network, including a link to allow for private, direct messages from customers, alongside Customer Feedback surveys.

These new features are set to help brands engage with customers on the platform, by taking public interactions to a private direct message, and also gaining data on how to improve building upon customer service through feedback surveys.

Link to Direct Messages

The first feature allows brands to add a deep link to Tweets, displaying a call-to-action that directs users to send a private, direct message to the business instead.

The business can opt to display a “Send a private message” button within the response to a customer, making it much easier for customers to share their query, and get a response. Noting that customer service conversations often start in Tweets, the back-and-forth communication from there doesn’t necessarily need to take place on a public forum – and can often get lost in the noise of Twitter. This allows customers and brands to transition to a private channel, especially where personal information is required.


Currently, you will often see businesses offering to help customers with a query, by direct messaging their order number, contact details, or whatever other information is required to handle the situation. This often has a number of barriers, where the brand sometimes needs to be following said customer for the customer to then directly message the brand, or vice versa.

Twitter’s Product manager Ian Cairns wrote:

With millions of customer service-related interactions happening every month on the platform, many of our advertisers tell us that over 80% of their inbound social customer service requests happen on Twitter. These businesses generate impressive results — not only are their customers more satisfied, but they also see a cost per resolution that is ⅙ the cost of a call center interaction. And this leads to increased brand loyalty and sales: recent research shows that when a customer Tweets a question or complaint to an airline and receives a response, they’re willing to pay on average $9 more for their next purchase from that airline.

How do you enable this option? Twitter explains it’s as easy as the following:

It requires that your Twitter account settings are set to “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone” (Settings > Security and Privacy > Privacy), and that you include a link in your Tweet using the following format.{your account’s numeric user ID}

Customer Feedback Surveys

After this interaction, Twitter allows users to private share their thoughts on how the interaction went, via customer feedback surveys.

This allows customers to privately share feedback about a business after any service interactions.


Currently, the only feedback comes in the form of Tweets or messages – but doesn’t allow for structured feedback to help better measure and improve upon customer service.

Twitter is implementing two industry standard question formats into the Customer Feedback feature, including Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS®) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Twitter have stated that:

Care teams have told us they love the open-ended feedback they get from users via Tweets and Direct Messages, but they also need the ability to survey customers in a structured way to better measure and improve their service experience. Customer Feedback makes it easy for customers to share their feedback with a business after a customer service conversation. With this feature, businesses will be able to use two industry standard question formats: Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS®) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).

These new features have currently been trialled amongst Twitter Official Partners, and now all businesses can begin adding Direct Message deep links into Tweets. Customer Feedback will roll out to selected brands in the near future, but no word when this is likely to become a widespread feature.

In addition, companies such as Hootsuite, Conversocial, Salesforce and Sprout Social have partnered up with Twitter to make these tools available in existing customer service workflows.

Twitter for Customer Service? Really?

More than 80% of customer service requests on social media are made through tweets – with a 2.5x increase in the number of tweets aimed at brands and customer service accounts over the past two years. Essentially, this can be seen as a response to Facebook having overhauled Business Pages and messaging features for businesses.


Whilst an unexpected move by Twitter, it certainly makes sense. The new features allow brands to talk, interact, and engage customers on a more personal level. It also allows for easier flow of communication when personal details are involved. Many customer queries also don’t need to take place in an open, public forum.

In addition, it’s beneficial for brands, as collecting and analysing feedback will be much simpler, with more actionable results on how to improve in the future. This data can be used to enhance customer interactions, add value to products or services, and deliver on the brand promises. It also allows brands to measure the quality of service compared to other channels.

For many brands, Twitter has become a larger customer service network than others, including email. Whilst this may surprise some people, it’s a very popular way to interact with brands – as comments are made public by customers, and can be heard by many others (whether it’s good or bad news).

For customers, it’s yet another avenue for them to receive quick, convenient customer service, with less waiting times and back-and-forth messaging. Direct messages essentially act as instant messages, compared to something like email, and so will be more concise and quicker to deal with.

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