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Social Media Challenges for Contact Centers

ICMI.com recently posted a great article articulating the biggest social media challenges for contact centers in 2013. Below is a summary of that article as well as the info-graphic:

The integration of social media into the contact center can be frightening. With customers now very much in control of how a brand is portrayed online, demand is growing and the importance of getting it right is self-evident.

In highly competitive industries, the best course of action is usually to actively respond to social media mentions and ensure that any negative experience turns into a positive.

Getting a contact center set up and ready to respond on social media brings with it many challenges. With this in mind, social customer service tool, Sentiment, has put together a rather useful info-graphic, which outlines some of the biggest challenges contact centers face.

Protecting your investment in legacy systems

Consumers now have a variety of different ways in which they connect with a brand, one in three social media users now prefer social care over contacting a brand using a phone. Those who actively make the move towards a multichannel approach will therefore be in a far better position to build relationships with a much wider range of customers.

Justifying the expense of integrating social media

Costs associated with moving to a multichannel approach often deter contact centers. The cost of attracting new customers is far greater than that of retaining the ones you already have. One way of keeping customers is to ensure you provide an exceptional service experience. Social customer service also helps to alleviate call volumes and can assist in building deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Integrating social media with your other channels

Consumers tend to go where it is most convenient for them, so offering service on multiple channels makes a lot of sense. Consumers also use different channels to complain depending on their motive – as the info-graphic highlights. Note that for vengeance, customers go where they will get the most reach – i.e. social networks – and some have gone to extreme measures to ensure they are heard.

Scaling up your social customer service provision

It’s worth remembering that social customer service currently accounts for just 5-10% of overall service provision. But this is a figure, which is increasing each month, and brands need to plan their budgets accordingly.

Although social media still remains with many Marketing and PR functions, social customer service is a trend set to continue to grow for 2014. The need to be able to effectively and seamlessly integrate these channels into the contact center will be pivotal.

Ensuring buy-in from your staff (or clients’ staff)

This is probably one of the biggest challenges and the most important to get right.

The difference here with this new way of communication is that it is no longer private. Businesses need to ensure that agents have the right skills and abilities to be able to move from channel to channel and still provide exceptional customer service. ‘Soft skills’ are extremely important and the skills set required increases when social media is integrated.

Understanding how to measure social customer service performance

In a real time environment, like social media, response times are important but the quality of the response is equally important. Ronan Gillen from eBay highlights this very well:

“Expectations are HIGH. Customers want a response within the hour, or immediately. Sometimes you just need to let them know you’re working on it. Even if you don’t have the answer to hand right away, the customer appreciates it”.

The info-graphic also highlights the kinds of metrics that can be tracked and measured to prove that your investment in social service is worth it. These aren’t always the same as for other service channels. For example, you might measure positive mentions by individuals after they have been engaged with via social media.

These are just some highlights. Check out the info graphic below for more information:

Sentiment Infographic

Outsource Consultants can assist you in finding the best social media contact center that fits your needs. Want more call center industry news and articles? Check out the blog on Outsource Consultants’ website!

Outsource Consultants is a call center referral and advisory firm that helps companies find the best call center and BPO outsourcing solution. We can assist in finding solutions for cloud-based call centers, inbound and outbound call centers, live web chat, and outsourced email support services. We will save you significant time, reduce your outsourcing costs, and help minimize your risk when switching or selecting a new call center partner.

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