Twitter is a cross between an online forum and instant messaging tool, which enables registered users to post short messages on their profile, which can be viewed by those who subscribe to their feed (known as followers). The service has been in the news frequently because of its use by celebrities and, more relevant, its use by leading retail brands to provide customer support and answer queries. Some of the early adopters that have successfully built up a presence on Twitter include Bank of America, Comcast, JetBlue, and Zappos, alongside many media and technology companies.
For example, Bank of America has used Twitter to answer customer questions, while providing customers with the ability to send a private message containing their telephone number to arrange for an agent callback.
Twitter allows for only short messages of 140 characters or less, and this makes it a quick tool for posting information and responding to queries. Having a network of customers gives enterprises the opportunity to communicate information to a wide base and helps divert incoming phone calls. Customers can "follow" all businesses that they have relationships with, which reduces the need to access separate websites for each, thereby saving time for the customers. Twitter also creates a community for customers to share information among themselves as a type of self-service. The 24/7 nature and location-independence of the internet, alongside the openness of Twitter, allows customers to converse with each other and answer queries when agents may not be available.
Source: CBR Online
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