It’s no secret that businesses find social media effective for delivering great customer service. A Consumer is also likely to spend more with a company that responds quickly to questions and concerns sent via social media. But how much more will a customer spend? We have a clearer answer to that question from Twitter, the social channel known for its users’ 140-character messages (“tweets”).

Customers who tweet at a business and receive a response will likely spend 3 to 20 percent more on a future purchase from that business, according to a new study from Twitter and its research partner, Applied Marketing Science.

The researchers examined American consumers’ behavior in the airline, quick-service restaurant and telecom industries to quantify the impact of rapid, effective responses from businesses to consumers via Twitter. Airlines stand to benefit from a 3 percent increase in revenue—$8.98 per transaction—on an averaged priced product. For telcos, the boost is 10 percent ($8.35 per transaction). Pizza delivery businesses got the biggest lift—a 20 percent increase in revenue potential ($2.84 per transaction).

The study also found that fast responses by businesses on Twitter pay off in a big way. For example, when a customer receives a reply from a telecom carrier in four minutes or less, they are willing to pay $17 more per month for a phone plan. A wait of 20 minutes more will snap the wallet shut—customers will only pay $3.52 per month more for a phone plan if they are left waiting too long for a reply.

In the announcement of the study results, the researchers shared tips that multi-channel contact centers can use for effective customer service via Twitter. Here’s a summary:

  • Tip 1: To discuss private topics with a customer, reply to the tweet with a Direct Message link to invite the customer into a private, one-on-one conversation. Customers like communicating with agents who converse in a personable, friendly manner.
  • Tip 2: Use Twitter’s customer feedback tools to gather useful customer satisfaction data.
  • Tip 3: Use Twitter’s support indicator and message buttons on your business profile so customers can easily message you and know when to expect a response.
  • Tip 4: Prioritize responses to negative tweets, but be sure to acknowledge positive tweets as well. Sixty-nine percent of people who sent negative tweets said they feel more favorable when a business responds to their question or issue.