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For Delta’s team of social media specialists, having the customer’s back includes providing in-the-moment, real-time assistance via the @Delta Twitter handle at any time before, during and after the journey.

In a recent blog post, “Best practices: Using direct messages for customer service,” Jeff Lesser, Twitter Product Marketing Manager, highlighted a tweet between a Delta customer and a social media specialist as an example of how a request to engage via direct message (DM) can result in a personalized experience.

“Conversations that begin with public tweets allow brands to show the world how much they love their customers, and direct messages let brands and consumers have private discussions to solve problems without ever leaving Twitter,” Lesser noted. “The companies providing the best customer service experiences on Twitter use direct messages to resolve issues and engage with their customers in simple and intuitive ways.”

To begin a private DM conversation at the request of a Delta social media specialist, customers can now simply click on a “Send a private message” link. The specialist can then obtain a confirmation number or SkyMiles number to offer assistance based on individual needs.

Direct messages have an expanded limit of 10,000 characters per message, allowing customers to describe their request in more detail than the standard 140 characters per tweet.

The ability to communicate with Delta via direct messaging has been well received by customers.

“It’s not uncommon for the customer to then tweet again publicly to thank Delta or address the topic further in an open forum,” said Tammie Duncan, Manager – Social Media. “We recently received a tweet from a customer noting, ‘@Delta wanted to thank you again for fixing this! Very pleased with how easy it was to DM.’”

Twitter says it is focused on making DM capabilities even better for businesses like Delta in the future.

“We look forward to continuing to partner with the Twitter team to explore the latest ways to engage with our customers through a platform that they value and respect,” said Duncan.