As an experiment in customer service via social networks, in this case Twitter, Software Advice recently had four employees send customer service tweets via their personal accounts to 14 leading consumer brands in seven industries.

In collaboration with CIO, Software Advice wanted to test the speed, efficiency, and quality of the brands' replies to tweeting customers. 

Each company was tweeted to once per weekday for four consecutive weeks. Each tweet fell into one of these categories:

  • Urgent help needed
  • Positive
  • Negative
  • A question from the company's FAQ page
  • Technical (i.e., needing more than one interaction for a resolution)

For the first and third weeks, the four employees used the brands' Twitter handles (e.g., @brandname), which ensured that Twitter would notify the companies that they were called out in a tweet. For the second and fourth weeks, the tweets mentioned only the brand name—not the handle.

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Veronica Jarski is the Opinions editor and a senior writer at MarketingProfs. She can be reached at

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski