Twitter Customer Service Platform, Respond, Relaunches

After their acquisition in December of last year, this week Respond is making its debut under the Buffer brand. Respond is a standalone tool that helps companies or individuals reach out to their followers and customers, respond to their questions, monitor mentions, and do so all in an easy to navigate platform.

Unlike Twitter’s native applications, website, and even TweetDeck, Respond works in a much more intuitive and more organized manner. Although there are other platforms designed for interacting and listening on social media, it is clear that Respond is hyper-focused on conversations and Twitter-based support. The platform features real-time monitoring, keyword searches, reporting, support for teams, and organized grouping of conversations

“A key opportunity Respond triggers for us, is to be a complete social media solution for larger companies, agencies and enterprises who want to work with a single product across both marketing and customer service departments,” said Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne. “As part of this, we’re excited to add more enterprise features to both Buffer and Respond over the coming year. After 5 years, Buffer is ready to serve a larger market of customers and we’re looking forward to making all our products better for a broad range of users and customers, from our free offerings all the way to Fortune 500 companies.”

Respond has initially launched with support for Twitter, but the team is looking into including Facebook in the future. Like Pablo, Respond is an entirely separate product, and is not integrated through Buffer. According to the team, since launching yesterday they saw 2,000 new signups to use the platform.

Digging Into Respond

Respond cuts out most of the barriers to entry. There is a free version, allowing a single Twitter account to use the platform’s primary functions; and a pro version ($39 per user per month) designed for larger engaged teams. Some of the primary differentiators from using Respond vs official Twitter systems are conversations being more organized, feeds are separated to cut out the noise, and there are other features designed to foster relationships.

For each Twitter conversation, a new thread is created in the inbox. If someone else chimes in, they get their own thread, including the initial conversation they joined. This way, even if you are a team of one, it’s easy to track issues and focus on a single person at a time.

For teams, a different person can be assigned to handle the issue, or if another person responds they will automatically be assigned as the owner. On top of this you can create private notes tied to conversations, set a follow up reminder, and move conversations from public to DM with ease.

For larger teams, there are several notification features that are of use. When assigned a new conversation, an email notification will go out, and if the thread is updated an email notification will go out. The platform also has several advanced reply settings like automatically adding a signature, and double reply prevention.

“Today marks the day where our product offerings now align fully with our own vision and beliefs around having a balanced approach to social media and business, both listening and sharing. We’re excited for Respond to fundamentally change Buffer for the better, and we’re pumped to serve existing and new customers with the new product,” stated Gascoigne in a statement on Product Hunt.

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Written by:
Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@) or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.
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