Brands

Best Buy Uses Twitter to Enhance Customer Service

This post is part of the Twitter for Brands Series, which features winning strategies from the top brand pages on Twitter and provides tips on how to emulate their successes.

Best Buy shows that it values its customers on its Twitter accounts, @BestBuy and @twelpforce, which are constantly updated with answers to customers’ questions, replies to their concerns, and discounts for its products.

When customers follow the tweets of this electronics megastore, they aren’t let down.

Currently, @BestBuy’s main account has more than 263,000 followers, and ranks #108 among brands on the social media site.

Its other Twitter handle, @twelpforce, boasts nearly 45,000 followers.

Establish an Account Solely for Customer Service

Best Buy’s account @twelpforce, is all about the customer. It is a system that lets the company “monitor customer inquiries on Twitter and allow multiple employees to respond from one account,” according to Fast Company.

On May 29, customer @bryancarifio tweeted to @twelpforce, “Is there any way to switch the store I go to for store pickup on an online purchase? Nashua store’s ‘system’ is down. Thanks.” Within the hour, @twelpforce replied, “@bryancarifio: Email us with order details to Twelpforce@BestBuy.com, and we’ll look into this for you. Thanks!”

This is the company’s typical response rate, demonstrated on its feed, managed by one of many employees every day.

A notable failure on the @twelpforce account attracted unwanted attention earlier this year when a customer tried to return a box set of CDs to a Best Buy. He asked a Twelpforce employee if he could return the item without a receipt, to which the employee replied, “Talk to a manager at your local Best Buy, they should be able to assist with exchange.” According to the customer, the store manager denied the request and dismissed the advice of @twelpforce, saying it could be anybody on the account.

Best Buy should have made sure that its in-store employees and those working Twitter were on the same page. A company’s motto and principles should always be consistent.

Empower the Employees to Tweet

Despite that incident, Twelpforce, overall, has worked wonders for the company.

“A Geek Squad guy might have a break between sessions or it could be a ‘Blue Shirt’ in-store at a slow moment, either way, this talent was ready, willing and able to help out,” John Bernier, who co-created the account, said in a 2010 interview with Fast Company. “Because the system was designed to tie each response to an individual employee, each Twelpforce rep could feel a personal sense of pride in their participation.”

Not only does Twelpforce strengthen the relationship between customers and employees, but between the employees themselves, Bernier said. It also makes employees more knowledgeable since they are actively researching the answers to customers’ inquiries. Over the past few years, Twelpforce has proved itself to be a powerful force within the company.

An Emphasis on Sales and Discounts

The main @BestBuy account is filled with promotions, as well as information on sales. Nearly every day, the company is either tweeting about or retweeting discounts and coupons.

On May 25, it wrote, “Kick off your summer with savings on TVs, laptops, smartphones and more during our Memorial Day Sale,” and two days later it posted, “Hey @KrisAllen fans! Get Thank You Camellia for only $7.99 this week in-store with #coupon.”

It frequently retweets weekly ads or daily deals. This doesn’t just lead to sales, it also entices customers to keep following the company since they know that there are financial benefits in doing so.

“We trust our employees to say and do the right thing every day in the store, the only difference with Twelpforce is we’re doing and saying things in a public platform that’s available for all time,” Bernier said in an interview with Sell or Else. “In this space we have to be on our ‘A game’ at all times, no excuse for a bad tweet, but we recognize that we’ll probably make mistakes. But we’re trusting our employees and we’re seeing very little of those bad tweets.”

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