Maintaining Human Experiences in a Bot Crazy World

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

It’s no secret, chat bots are all the craze right now. And we’re seeing more and more brands provide great experiences through them, from allowing you to catch a Lyft to learning about world issues through humanitarian bots -  bots are here to stay. However, when it comes to contacting customer service, sometimes people just want to talk to a human.


In the customer service case, brands need to be careful how they use bots because the main purpose of bots, in general, should be to enhance the customer’s experience, not take away from it.


Brands should know that the rule of thumb for any customer service bot experience is:


Brands should make it crystal clear to customers whether they are talking to a bot or a human.


There are times when customers may prefer to talk to a bot because bots in customer service are  quick, provide direct responses and are great for things like retrieving account status, making a standard purchase or checking into a flight.  But, yet again, there are still times when customers just want to talk to a human.


How many times have we all wondered whether we’re talking to a human or a robot? Personally, when I have a specific problem, I want to explain it to a human all at once, so I can get in, get it solved, and move on with my day. I don’t want to follow some “bot flow” that most likely will end up sending me to a support agent anyway. 


Luckily, Twitter has made this a problem of the past! Twitter announced yesterday that along with one of the top brands leading the charge on social customer service, they will be offering Custom Profiles for support agents.


What does that mean? Well, the new feature now allows brands to provide a more human digital experience by showing customers who exactly is engaging with them on Twitter. 



This image was taken from the original post on Twitter.


Now, not only does a customer know they are talking to a human, they know who they are talking to. For instance, this customer is exchanging messages with Alissa Fast from T-Mobile and is getting personal one-to-one help from another human.


This really adds value to a customer’s experience with the brand, and gives customers the confidence that they are not talking to a machine. And, most importantly, a little less frustrated, since customers now know that they are talking to a happy, smiling, human.


According to Twitter’s blog, “personalized experiences with a human connection can create significant benefits for businesses. 77% of people are likely to recommend a brand following a personalized customer service interaction on Twitter. Additionally, people are 19% more likely to feel like they’ve reached a resolution and 22% more likely to be satisfied compared to those who had impersonal interactions with a business on Twitter.”


If you’re a business interested in enabling Custom Profiles in Direct Messages for your agents, please let Twitter know you’re interested here. As a Twitter Official Partner, Lithium can enable this functionality for you once you are approved by Twitter.


What do you think about the new Twitter Custom Profiles feature? Can you see your support team using it?


Let us know in the comments.


Khoros Alumni (Retired)

An interesting logical reaction to the bot hype and an evolution of the "^CR" approach to sign on Twitter. I'm curious to learn what impact T-Mobile will see on their channel CSAT ratings as a result.


@LeslieJ The one thing I didn't quite understand from Twitter's blog: Are these "Custom Profiles" normal Twitter accounts that are then associated to the business' handle? Or are the agent profiles created within the brand's account and only exist in their DM context?

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

@ClaudiusH you're correct, it will be interesting to see how this translate to overall customer satisfaction!


The custom profiles for each agent are enabled by Lithium within the brand's Twitter account and they only show for DMs today. Twitter does not allow for brands to use bots in the public forum, so as long as brands are abiding by Twitter's TOS, customers should always be interacting with humans in a public forum and there should be no confusion there. 


@LeslieJ, very interesting development. Do I understand correctly that if we register on the link provided and are given access by Twitter, we can immediately start using this feature through Lithium Response?

Khoros Oracle

@Jochen You are correct, custom profiles are available through Lithium Response pending Twitter approval for access. 

Khoros Oracle

@ClaudiusH The custom profiles aren't actual Twitter accounts. Instead, they are new entities on Twitter (containing a name and profile image) that are associated with a handle (many-to-one), with a unique identifier. We then associate these custom profiles with users (agents) in Response, with each user having one of unique identifiers mapped to them. Once this is done, any Twitter DM responses sent by that user will include the custom profile id and Twitter will then use the information to personalize the DM rendering.


I see in the example picture that the agent's surname is visible as well. Is it possible to configure this in such way that it only shows the first name? Want to protect the agent's identity / privacy. 

Khoros Oracle

@Jochen The "name" field is customizable text (up to 48 characters), so you can set it up however you want, including adding a title or similar (e.g. "JoeC, social media specialist").



@SheetalK - do you have any idea maybe as to how long it takes before Twitter responds? I've filled in the webform, but haven't received any reply whatsoever (no confirmation of filling in the form either). 

Khoros Oracle

@Jochen While I don't know when Twitter might response, I am happy to follow up on the request through our partner contact at Twitter for this. It would be helpful if you can send me an email ( with specifics on the request you sent to Twitter (I realize you don't have any confirmation number or email).


Khoros Oracle

@Jochen The May 2017 release lets you create and manage Custom Profiles directly from Response. I have confirmed that your brand handle is already whitelisted by Twitter, so you should be able to start using this now. Let me know if you have any questions.