For several years now, Twitter has been the most direct—and public—way for customers to get in touch with the companies they respect, loathe, or just have questions for. In fact, much of Twitter’s core business comes from people interacting with companies. Now, Twitter has revealed two new customer service programs to help make those communications easier: direct messaging and customer feedback.
When a customer is tweeting back and forth with a business, that business now has the option to send the customer a “send a private message” button, making the conversation private and more direct. This tool can be used to exchange personal information on the site without risking its exposure. It also eliminates the middleman between customers and customer service, so there is a lower chance of a customer’s plea being ignored.
The new customer feedback option allows users to share their opinions and experiences privately with a company. Twitter says teams have enjoyed receiving open-ended feedback from their customers on the site, but that Twitter’s current platform did not offer them many ways of responding to those customers. In an effort to improve that experience and retain its users, Twitter hopes to bring customers closer to the companies they like—or don’t like, as the case may often be.
Like Twitter, Facebook has also been working to become more business-friendly over the last year. The company introduced updates to Pages, hoping those spaces would become a place for people to find information about more businesses. Pages can be crawled by Google, meaning that when you search for a business, its Facebook page is likely to pop up.
Facebook has also introduced a “Nearby Places” feature that allows users to browse local businesses to get ideas about where to go, what to do, or where to eat.
“There’s a lot more we could do with discovery,” says Facebook product manager Michael Sharon. “There’s a lot more we could to do help people discover great Pages, great businesses nearby.”
In a culture where on-demand information is in high demand, new programs like these could be the biggest new tech trend this year.