Its been revealed today that Debenhams is the first store in the UK to adopt Twitter as a method of increasing their customer service in store. This is a pretty unique way for a business to adopt the popular social networking site and put it to greater use than just using it to gossip and update friends.
The plan is that Debenhams’ customers will be able to send messages via Twitter which will be picked up and responded to by a team of assistants on the shop floor kitted out with Blackberrys. The concept is being sold as having the equivalent of a dedicated shop assistant with you, and being launched at the MegaSale tomorrow on Oxford Street, London.
I’m not entirely convinced with how it will all work, as Debenhams have obviously loads of stores so unless they have a dedicated twitter account for each store over time then it will be like asking a question to a general person, and with the character limit on Twitter it would be quite hard perhaps to ask a full and detailed question. Like “have you got these in a size 12” would be a hard question to answer over twitter, especially if the customer has then to describe the item that they are looking at etc. Then how will the sales assistant identify you if they need to find you?
It sounds initially like a good way to improve levels of customer service and I’m all in favour for that, but I’m not sure Twitter really is the answer to the issue and I’m not sure if it will be adopted by many people, who are tech savvy enough. Time will tell of course, but if you want to give it a go you need to follow @debenhamsretail and use the tag #debtwtasst (a slightly strange tag for people to remember??)
Update 9/9/09 : Looks like Debenhams have had a rethink and changed the hashtag for the assistance to #debenhams.