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Social Media Impacting Contact Center Operations

Contact Centers Need to Consider Implementing Social Platforms to Keep Consumers Happy and Engaged

Even though the contact center is regarded as one of the most important customer service departments in the enterprise, many of these teams are overburdened by client queries and are unable to satisfy the needs of every prospective and existing customer. This occurrence has the potential to create a substantial problem for organizations: a poor reputation.

There is no denying the fact that today's consumer landscape is highly connected, as individuals around the world use social media to post their complaints about enterprises regarding how corporate representatives handle client issues. These seemingly innocuous rants can have a major impact on how people around the world view an organization. As a result, businesses may encounter more problems when trying to attract and retain customers, impairing long-term growth strategies and revenue streams.

These issues suggest that enterprises should fight fire with fire. In other words, contact centers should adopt social media and other highly collaborative tools to cut back on consumer dissatisfaction. This doesn't necessarily mean that organizations will reduce their dependency on business phone systems and other voice platforms, as there will always be people who prefer these types of interactions, it just means that firms will adopt an additional communication medium.

Oracle recently released a report highlighted the reasons organizations should implement social tools in the contact center, noting that these opportunities can make a huge, lasting impact on the way consumers view an enterprise.

Deploy an Integrated Interaction Channel

There is no doubt that the need for multichannel contact centers is on the rise, especially as individuals use mobile devices and other technologies to interact with company representatives. In many cases, social media can be the glue that holds all of these platforms together, Oracle noted. This is because social interaction tools allow employees to witness real-time conversations about their organization happening on social networks and use new tools to convert unhappy clients into satisfied, loyal customers.

As an example, say someone called a business to file a complaint but was put on hold for 30 minutes and hung up before having the ability to speak with a representative. This displeasure translated into an angry tweet about the company. If an enterprise has social tools in place, employees can identify the unhappy tweet and respond to the consumer via the same medium. This new level of attention may suggest that the enterprise is still trying to keep people happy and may strike up a new conversation in which the original grievance is addressed.

In addition to having the ability to detect and address real-time concerns, social media can also act as a self-service portal, Oracle noted. These platforms can be highly effective for people who simply want to voice a comment and be done with it, rather than having to navigate through the often crowded and long-winded customer service process.

Build a Friendly, Interactive Community

Building on the concept of self-service, social platforms can also be used so that customers can help each other. Oracle noted that most loyal clients have an extensive knowledge of an enterprise's products or services, largely due to the fact that they have been with the company for some time and have resolved the same questions for which new customers are seeking answers. Experts often believe that providing consumers a way to help each other through threads before having them call an office phone system is one of the best ways to cut back on unnecessary traffic to the contact center without impairing user experience.

A separate CFI Group study highlighted similar concerns, noting that social media in the contact center can be highly effective for "damage control," in addition to resolving client issues. In fact, consumers who were reached out to via social media by a company after discussing their experience online rated their satisfaction level nearly 20 percent higher than individuals who were not contacted. This use of social media in customer service departments, in addition to enterprise VoIP and other platforms, is changing the way people view these divisions as a whole.

"In our view, we are now truly able to justify calling service centers 'contact centers' and not just 'call centers,'" said Terry Redding, director of development and delivery for CFI Group.

The ongoing consumerization of IT will continue to encourage enterprises to implement social solutions within the contact center to provide employees with more effective methods of communicating with both prospective and existing clients. Enterprise decision-makers need to consider branching out in their customer service departments if they want to keep clients engaged and happy with the way employees carry out tasks. By incorporating social media and other interactive platforms, contact centers can provide individuals with more innovative methods to resolve their issues and express their satisfaction with businesses.