Social Media for Contact Centers

Social media has changed the way many of us communicate with each other. Naturally, this has an impact on customer relationship management (CRM). With over half a billion Facebook users worldwide and over 50 million messages posted on Twitter every day, companies know that they can’t afford to ignore social media when interacting with their customers.

When I take a look at many company Twitter accounts, a lot of them use Twitter to answer customer enquiries. It’s the same with Facebook, where consumers post their questions and remarks on companies’ walls.

Here we’ve reached the classical domain of contact centers: interacting with customers and answering their questions over multiple channels. Social media ads another channel which contact centers have to embrace if they want their customer communication to be successful.

This means the contact center agent must be able to use social media the same way as phone, fax, SMS or e-mail. If you envision the agent workplace as a dashboard for various forms of contact, over which the agent can handle calls, e-mail, chat, etc. simultaneously, you need to include the social media interface there. It should give you an overview of your Twitter timeline and Facebook wall with the possibility to post replies. Maybe you could even handle multiple accounts on one dashboard. As you probably know, there are already browser-based social media dashboards available. They run in a separate browser window. You could of course open two browser windows – one with the Agent Workplace and one with a social media dashboard, however, for the agent it would be by far more convenient to have this function included in the workplace. Additionally, it would be purely HTML-based.

A social media feature would be not unlike the chat function in our Agent Workplace. Actually, the social media function for contact centers would be like a blend of the chat and the e-mail function and enable you to handle a customer’s enquiry with one or two contacts. Considering that the chat function can reduce contact center costs up to 25 per cent, a social media interface would probably have the same effect.

So what do you think? How should social media be integrated into the contact center agent’s working environment? What do you think are the advantages? I’m looking forward to receiving your inspirational replies.

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