My tips include:
- Respond! There's nothing worse than contacting a brand via Twitter to find they only use their Twitter feed for pushing out automated tweets.
- Be open. One way a customer can be supported is by reading your replies to tweets. This was useful in the Ashcloud incident.
- Manage privacy. In contrast to the above, don't ask a customer for their personal details to be tweeted, or start conducting business transactions publicly on Twitter. Use the Direct Message facility.
- Solve the Problem - Now. Don't pass the tweeter onto a phone line...
- Tweet ahead. If you know there is likely to be an issue, start providing solution options in advance
In healthcare, the privacy issue is a tough one to manage. If a patient tweets an NHS organisation asking for a problem to be solved, then the conversation will still need to be managed carefully, to make sure privacy is not compromised. Check they want to continue the conversation via Twitter and give an alternative means of instant access communication.