Twitter is a great tool for customer service. The idea is that instead of having people wait on the phone for an answer that they may or may not like they can connect with you through social media for an answer. Here are 4 steps that you can take in order to use Twitter for customer service effectively:

1.  Let your users know that you are on twitter. The more that your customer base knows that they can find you on twitter for their customer service related questions the better. Putting your twitter id on all of your marketing is a great way to do this.

2. Monitor the conversation on Twitter about your brand. There are a few ways that you can do this. The first is to simply use the twitter search engine and type in the keyword or hashtag you are interested in to find out about what other users are saying about “juice” or “#followfriday” for example. Type in your company name and find out what they are saying to get a good beat about your company. Additionally, you can use sites like to help you monitor the conversation for multiple keywords on Twitter.

3. Respond to your customers and prospects. The best way to respond to a prospects query is through the @username feature on Twitter. This way the information will be public and you can respond to everyone, even people who do not follow you. Make sure that you respond to all complaints and questions in a timely manner and show empathy. When needed give them ways to contact you when the conversation needs to be taken off Twitter.

4. Do not automate all of your responses. People see through this. In America, we have had too many decades of automated, impersonal letters that show how little a company cares about us. Show them you care be by actually being there from time to time.

I will be the first to tell you that I use some automated posts on Twitter because it keeps me sane enough to keep up with all of my accounts. At the same time, I do my best to pop into the site for at least 15-30 minutes every day to respond to queries, RT great thoughts and ideas. Then you can just be there to help people, so you grow your business. Please do the same or you might lose more customers than long waits and rude customer service.

So now that you know how to use Twitter to build your customer get cracking today to help your customers be happy and buy more of your products.