just when contact centre professionals thought they had got to grips with email and live chat

facebook.image.2013just when contact centre professionals thought they had got to grips with email and live chat, along comes social media to change the rules of customer care… again.

Clearly, the principals of customer service and support remain. Agents still need to be courteous, professional and provide accurate information to resolve customer queries.

But, now we are all performing on a public stage and if a customer has a negative experience, generally the social sphere is going to hear about it, read about it and potential re-tweet it!

With social media the rules have changed again and we can no longer wait for a customer issue to arrive. Often, a social customer is talking about a problem with your company, but they aren’t talking to you. They are talking to whoever will listen.

It is our job to ensure we are listening out for these conversations and to engage effectively across all social channels (not just our own Facebook and Twitter accounts) to proactively deliver customer service and protect our brand reputation.

If you haven’t already embraced social customer service, it is time to do so now. Here are several pointers to help you and your contact centre become proactive across the social sphere:

1. Monitor Social Activity – whether you like it or not, there is already social activity surrounding your products and brands. Research the current and historic social insight that already exists.

2. Analyse Social Participants – along with the volume of activity, there is a raft of powerful insight available, from text analytics to the demographics of your social participants. Embrace it.

3. Engagement Tools – look for a social tool that will both bring in social mentions from multiple channels and provide the workflow necessary to create an effective social customer service team.

4. Integrate with the Contact Centre – contact centre agents have the knowledge and access to systems necessary to resolve customer issues. We must offer a joined up multi-channel experience to our customers.

5. Recognise the unique challenges of the social channel – we can no longer define the hours that customers contact us and our response metrics are now public domain. Resource accordingly.

The steps above may look like a challenge… or a terrific opportunity. Get your social customer service strategy right and the benefits are there for all to see, quite literally!

Luke Porter, Business Development Director at Contact Centre Social.

Reproduced with kind permission of Contact Centre Social.

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