As numerous industry experts have noted, social media is increasingly playing a key role in organizations' contact centers. More and more, individuals are turning to Facebook, Twitter and other channels to find support and express their satisfaction or lack thereof. Those organizations that ignore social media for these purposes risk being perceived as antiquated or unappreciative.
Yet adopting social media in the contact center can present a major challenge. As 1to1 Media contributor Rodney Kuhn recently noted, successful deployment requires both organization and collaboration.
Compared to traditional forms of customer service and support, social media is extremely chaotic. For one thing, there are many specific channels, and each one requires a different mode of response. Additionally, the appropriate response within a given channel will largely depend on the nature of the complaint, question or comment.
To adequately respond to all of these difficulties, firms must take steps to thoroughly train their agents and develop a comprehensive plan for various situations that may arise, according to Kuhn. Firms should do research to determine how many agents to assign to this task, as well as which social networks and types of comments should be prioritized.
If firms fail to properly organize and train their agents, Kuhn noted, they run the risk of high turnover. This is a serious problem for contact centers, as agents typically become much better at handling customers, clients and members as they gain experience. If agents are frustrated by the difficulty of social media and do not receive training to help them, they will likely quit.
Kuhn also noted that it is crucial for organizations to ensure that their agents work together with other employees to improve performance on social media channels. Many times, the person in charge of responding to social media complaints and questions will lack the expertise needed to handle a particular issue. To avoid delays, firms should create simple ways for agents to find the IT person or manager needed to resolve issues.
Achieving these goals can be a challenge. However, technology can help. Writing for CIO, David Taber noted that social customer relationship management (CRM) software in particular can be beneficial. These programs can organize, prioritize, find and analyze social media behavior, which can greatly reduce the stress placed on contact center agents.
Associations and nonprofits interested in improving their social media responses should consider upgrading to an advanced association management system that features easy-to-use social CRM tools.