Twitter adds automated messaging to customer service

The company also unveiled quick replies to make the conversation between users and brands go faster

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 1, 2016
Short URL:

I maintain that Twitter's best attribute, even more than its real time aspect, is that is the best place for users and brands to connect. Basically, it's most useful as a customer service tool. Twitter definitely sees it as a significant use case as well, as it has made it much easier this year for customers to complain to brands on the platform.

On Monday, it made connecting even smoother with the launch automated welcome messages and "quick replies" to make the conversation go faster. 

What that means is that, when someone goes to direct message a business, they will get a message before anything is typed. The company also launched quick replies, which let businesses prompt people with the best ways to reply to a Direct Message. The idea is to get people the help they need faster.

Here's an example of how it works: one of the companies currently using the feature are is TFL Travel Alerts. When I went to Direct Message the @TfLTravelAlerts account, I saw this, with an automatic introduction, that said, "Hi, what you like to do?" along with suggestions for what my problem might be, including "check status now," "talk to a customer service agent," or "subscribe or edit alerts."

"When quick replies and welcome messages are used together, businesses can reduce wait times and educate people on the best ways to interact with them," said Twitter. 

Other businesses currently using the feature include Pizza Hut, Evernote, Spotify, Norton, Tesco, Airbnb, The Weather Network and Tesco. Most of these, it should be noted, are not yet using the quick reply feature, only the automatic messages.

The introduction of these features follow features released in February of this year, which allowed businesses to put a link in their Tweets to let customer send a DM, making that transition much smoother.

Users were also given the ability to leave feedback with the business after they're done dealing with the customer service representative. That allows the user to easily tell the company is they are satisfied, and it allows businesses to see how they can improve their customer service. So that's a win-win. 

Customer service is imporant to Twitter's continued growth. According to the company, its advertisers say that 80 percent of their social customer service requests happen on the platform.

Will the ability to have better connection to businesses bring new people onto the platform? No, I'd say probably not. it does, however, make the service just that much better for existing users. It won't be a make or break type feature, but every little thing helps when a company is, frankly, pretty desperate to grow its user base.

In its most recent quarter, Twitter reported that average monthly active users grew 3 percent year-to-year to 317 million for the quarter. They were also up from 313 million in the previous quarter.

That may not seem like much, but its an improvement from where it had beem. In the fourth quarter of last year, for example, Twitter saw its average monthly active users grow a mere 9 percent year-to-year to 320 million, and stay completely flat quarter-to-quarter.

Customer service may not be the biggest reason for users to come to Twitter, but it's a heavy enough use case , and may drive enough new users, for Twitter to make sure it works as smoothly as possible. 

(Image source:

Related news