Friday, June 08, 2012
As social media has become increasingly popular, organizations have begun to recognize the potential business uses of of the medium. Social marketing, for example, is a burgeoning field, with many businesses committing heavily to promoting their products and services through this channel.
Customer support departments have also begun to implement social media into their operations. Dave Kellogg, senior vice president at a leading social customer relationship management company, recently told Destination CRM that 18.6 percent of contact centers currently utilize social media. Within a year, this number is expected to grow to 22.9 percent.
As more contact centers move to incorporate social media into their customer support strategies, it is critical that they follow best practices to ensure that the technology serves, rather than harms, their service offerings.
Writing for Multichannel Merchant, industry expert Lauren Ziskie recently offered several best practices for contact centers hoping to maximize their use of social media customer support.
Creating a process
One of the keys to successful use of social media in the contact center, according to Ziskie, is developing a monitoring and engagement process. As she notes, at any given time, there may be hundreds or even thousands of posts, tweets and other communications concerning a company circulating around social media networks. Without a concrete, regular process in place for prioritizing and responding to these messages, a contact center's response policies will be haphazard and ineffective.
That is why Ziskie recommends that contact centers develop an engagement workflow chart that helps support staff categorize and prioritize social media comments. For example, Facebook posts that specifically mention the company by name should be addressed more quickly than a not-particularly-popular blog that does the same.
Another key to successful use of social media in the contact center is quality assurance. Social media engagement offers several unique challenges to customer support staff. For example, it can be difficult to determine the proper tone to use. To many people, social media channels seem inherently less formal than other, more traditional formats, such as email and phone calls. Consequently, customer service agents may be tempted to respond to customer complaints and comments on social media sites with a relative lack of formality.
To ensure that social media engagement follows company policy, Ziskie recommends that organizations establish quality assurance teams to analyze and score every interaction between the company and customers via social media.