Twitter introduces customer service bots in direct messages

Twitter is rolling out bot-like features inside its direct messaging feature in an effort to lure more brands into using it as a customer service platform. The company today introduced automated “welcome” messages for customers who send a DM to a brand, along with “quick replies” that let customers choose from pre-written messages to complete common tasks. (“What’s the status of my order?”) You can try it now by messaging beloved brands Pizza Hut and Evernote, preferably about the sorry state of the consumer productivity market (in the case of Pizza Hut) or pizza (in the case of Evernote).

— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) November 1, 2016

Twitter has long been a popular service for airing consumer grievances, as anyone who has ever read a tweetstorm from someone stuck for several hours on a tarmac can attest. But as in so many things, Twitter was slow to take advantage of its initial lead, and this spring Facebook came along to launch pretty much exactly what Twitter launched today. So far consumers have reacted to bot-based customer service on Messenger with a collective shrug, but over here on The Verge bot desk we’re still optimistic, given that the software is improving and no one ever wants to call a 1-800 number ever again.

“These features are designed to help businesses create rich, responsive, full-service experiences that directly advance the work of customer service teams and open up new possibilities for how people engage with businesses on Twitter,” Twitter says. The more that customer service grievances stay inside DMs, as opposed to the public timeline, the happier we are likely to be.


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