ICMI.com recently published a good article explaining the importance of social media support within the call center industry. A summarization is below:
No matter what new channel arises, it must be appropriately staffed and managed so that agents with the right knowledge and skills are available to respond to customers quickly and appropriately though social, email, chat or any other channel. Delivering a truly consistent customer experience depends on us connecting the disparate systems and processes we’ve built up across channels to better serve customers.
Today’s customers are well-informed, empowered and more demanding than ever. Not only do they expect their inquiries to be handled with speed and accuracy, but if they receive unsatisfactory service, they can (and will) quickly share their bad experience in vivid detail in social forums like Facebook and Twitter.
To really keep your finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction in your organization, you simply can’t afford to avoid the social realm. Contact center agents must become more “social,” engage with customers in their chosen channels, and learn to effectively navigate the social world.
Social Media: It’s Serious.
Though there may be fewer comments and posts about your business on social outlets like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn than the number of incoming calls, make no mistake – the impact of these social networks is huge.
Today, Facebook has more than one billion active monthly users. Twitter has 500 million users and more than 200 million people are on LinkedIn. YouTube has some 800 million users, reporting four billion views per day. Social media now accounts for 18% of all time spent online and more than half of people in the U.S. now have a social media profile.
It is easy to see how a single blog post, tweet or LinkedIn discussion can garner the attention of thousands of potential customers instantaneously. This can work both for and against your company, depending on the nature of the comment. It’s time for agents to get engaged and join the conversation.
The New Social Agent
Just like the phone, social media is a customer service tool that agents can use to listen to customers and provide them with an overall better experience.
Quick searches of Google and Twitter are free and will instantly tell you if customers are talking about your company and what they are saying on blogs and in tweets. Whole categories of technology have sprung up to manage the process, from social listening platforms, to social engagement and even social control systems, but the human element can’t be overlooked.
Social networks enable agents to interact with customers in real-time and either solve their issues or get them to the right channel where someone can help them. These platforms also offer a way for agents to proactively communicate with multiple existing and prospective customers at one time about your company’s products and services, as well as address common issues that other customers may be experiencing. This ability to quickly solve customer issues – and proactively address common customer concerns – leads to improved customer service and overall loyalty.
Finding the Time
In general, you should address social media the way you would any other initiative. Agents must be educated on how to use social media tools and be equipped to respond to customers in real-time. This will require ongoing training to those reps responsible for social response as well as tools to monitor and respond to the ebb and flow of social interactions within the context of the contact center.
Today’s customers are savvy, well-informed and social. Reaction time is critical and agents must be equipped to handle customer demands with speed and accuracy. The result is a more effective and productive agent workforce and a more satisfied customer base.
If you are considering finding an expert to assist you with a social media customer support, it can be an overwhelming task, especially if you have yet to use one. Outsource Consultants can assist you with your efforts in finding the best social media contact center, saving you time and money, by recommending the best and most cost efficient fit for your social support strategy. Your goal is delivering the best customer experience. Our mission is to help you make that happen by finding you the best social media service partner.