Twitter launches DM features to improve business-customer interaction

Evernote and Pizza Hut are using the new DM features, called Welcome Messages and Quick Replies, respectively.

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter is rolling out two features to improve interactions between businesses and consumers, it said on Tuesday.

Called Welcome Messages and Quick Replies, the two features exist within Twitter’s Direct Messages function as of Tuesday. The company is debuting the features for businesses in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Twitter’s goal is to make it easier for businesses to guide people to better outcomes through a combination of automation and human service, Twitter product manager Ian Cairns said in an emailed statement.

Welcome Messages enable businesses to greet people and set expectations as they enter a Direct Message conversation by letting them create multiple greetings and include links to tweets, websites, or apps.

Businesses can prompt people with the best ways to reply to a Direct Message—either by choosing from a list of options or guiding users to enter specific text values—with the Quick Replies feature.

Used together, the enhancements can reduce wait times and educate people on the best ways to interact with businesses, Cairns said.

Brands such as Evernote and Pizza Hut are using the new features. 

Evernote director of global customer service Gerald Hastie said in a statement that the features are allowing her company to "welcome valued customers and capture their issues before they contact one of [Evernote’s] agents, which helps to streamline the process, accelerate resolution time, and reduce customer effort."

Businesses that provide support via Direct Message can set up their default welcome message in the support settings page of Twitter Dashboard.

Twitter comms manager Elizabeth Luke said via email that more than 80% of companies that advertise on the platform report that inbound social customer-service requests take place on Twitter. The company’s research found that when a customer tweets at a business and receives a response, he or she is willing to spend 3% to 20% more on an average priced item from that business in the future, Luke added.

"We want to help businesses capitalize on that opportunity," he said.

Earlier this year, Twitter introduced DM Prompts and Message buttons to improve communications on its network.

Last week, Twitter announced that it is slashing its workforce by 9% and revealed plans to shut down the short-form video app Vine in the coming months.

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