I’m seeing more and more companies using Twitter, not only for strengthening relationships with customers, but also for customer service. Customer service both for broadcasting service messages via Twitter as well as via an RSS feed from Twitter Search to customers’ ‘tweets’ about the company’s service.

The latest is Washington State Ferries (WSF), which I ran into tonight as part of monitoring the terms ‘Seattle’ and ‘Bainbridge Island’ on twitter search.

WSF is using Twitter to broadcast customer service messages like the one here alerting users that the 8:10 ferry running tonight from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, where I live, is going to be late. WSF just started using Twitter today so that’s the reason for only 2 followers.

Twitter customer service

An example of a company listening to customers talking about the company’s service is BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).

I was returning from San Francisco to Seattle Wednesday night. Sitting on a BART Bus that drives you from the Oakland Airport BART Rail Station to the Airport, I tweeted the following:

29 minutes later I get the following email alerting me that Bart is now following me on Twitter.

Bart wants to know what customers are saying about them.

And Bart is responding in some pretty cool ways to riders ‘tweeting’ about Bart. Look at the direct responses (they begin ‘@twtterusername’) from Bart in Bart’s Twitter feed below. Bart is building fans – though it may scare folks when they get that first direct ‘tweet’ back from Bart after just ‘tweeting’ about Bart.

Twitter law firm client service

Recently, an airline saw a ‘tweet’ by a complaining customer stranded by a delayed flight. The airline sent a direct tweet to their customer that if the customer could quickly get to another gate, they could catch a flight which would get them home sooner. Imagine all the people following the passenger on Twitter who were now going to hear about how great this airline was?

How are you going to use Twitter for client service in a law firm? If you’re a large law firm I’d sure be listening to who is mentioning your name on Twitter via Twitter search or a Twitter application like Tweetdeck. I’d be doing the same for all controversial and high profile matters you’re involved in – for the names of lawyers, clients, and subjects.

I’d also be prepared to respond via Twitter, where you ethically can, to what what is being said about you and the relevant subjects you’re monitoring on Twitter Search. Both for client service as well as PR. PR because a lot of people, including reporters are listening to Twitter.

Watch what’s going on at Twitter guys. You may pick any number of good ideas.

Have some ideas on how Twitter could be used by law firms for client service? Share them in a comment.

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