Social Media and Your Contact Center: Making the Connection

In today’s world, more and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of using social media to engage with customers.  But this trend isn’t specific to one or two niche industries.  Even call centers understand that they have to be accessible across a variety of social media platforms in order to stay at the top of their customer service game.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to connect social media and your contact center, and how you can avoid some of the most common social media pitfalls.

Choose your outlets carefully

If you’re completely new to social media, you’ll need to truly understand your customer demographic and the benefits of each social media outlet in order to choose the ones to represent yourself on.  The most popular social media outlets include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  More than likely, your customers interact on these platforms every day, so it’s important to establish a presence there and make yourself available for comments, questions and concerns.

Train employees on social media etiquette

Chances are, your call center agents use social media on a daily basis in their personal lives, so they’re already familiar with how these platforms work.  But no matter how experienced they are with platforms like Facebook and Twitter on their own, using social media in the contact center comes with its own set of unique hurdles.  That’s why it is so important to ensure that you have a clear set of guidelines for managing your social media presence from a customer service perspective.

Customer service on social media can vary a lot from a traditional customer inquiry or email.  While responding to an email within 24 hours might be just fine, your customers will expect a real-time response when they contact you via social media.  And as a result of the public nature of social platforms, most of your responses on these sites will be seen by every customer on your page.  That’s why it’s extremely important to train the employees managing these pages to respond quickly and cautiously to customer inquiries that come from these platforms.

Allocate sufficient staff and resources

When it comes to traditional customer inquiries, most contact centers have strict standards regulations.  All customer emails, calls, chats, and voicemails must be answered within a certain amount of time, and handled in a particular way.

Social media is no different.  You wouldn’t leave an email unanswered, would you?  But, you’d be surprised to see how many Facebook messages and tweets go unnoticed in call centers that don’t have sufficient resources dedicated to these channels.  When you choose to add social media as another mode of communication, ensure that you have a clear idea of the level of service and staffing required to successfully manage your online presence.

Don’t wait for customers to come to you

A majority of customers don’t air their complaints and concerns directly to a business.  But, they will discuss these issues on their personal social media profiles, allowing these comments to be seen by the general public.

As a company on social media, you should be constantly searching through posts that mention your business and responding to comments or concerns.  This will not only allow you to diffuse a situation quickly, but also give you the opportunity to increase your customer retention rate.

Use online interactions to close the feedback loop

Because of the real-time nature of social media, it’s easy to fall into the habit of putting out fires without addressing the underlying issues.  But the truth is that the feedback you receive through social media – whether it’s communicated directly to you or not – is a gold mine for your business.

It’s a good idea to keep track of the comments and interactions that occur on social media platforms and then communicate them with the team.  As the first line of defense, your call center can communicate customer concerns with internal development, research, and operations departments, who can work to turn this information into actionable steps toward improvement.