Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Does Social Networking Belong in the Contact Center?

Does your inbox fill with invitations to webinars on social networking? Mine sure does. Everyone seems to be talking about it. Why?

  • contact center social mediaAmericans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago. (Source: Nielsen)
  • Facebook boasts 500 million users and reportedly is closing in on 600 million.
  • 14% of social networkers read about a bad experience; 62% of those folks adjust their decision making accordingly (Source: VIPDesk)

If you’re attending these webinars, you’ll be on the receiving end of a raft of facts and figures just like these. You’ll learn about the importance of interacting with the community and providing prompt responses to their posts. And, of course, you’ll hear the few scary stories about what happened to a few unsuspecting souls when an adverse situation went “viral” and rocked their corporate worlds.

Contact centers certainly have the scale and the customer service skills to be “players” in the social media sphere. What we learned in our soon-to-be-published survey (produced jointly with Contact Center Pipeline): Marketing is carrying the social media ball for most companies. Brand promotion and protection appears to drive organizational alignment.

To be sure, we’re at an early stage of social media adoption when it comes to customer contact. We’re sorting through the value of social media, the tools and skills we’ll need to address it, and the resource requirements (a.k.a. costs) that it will take to serve the community well. Even if you’re not leading the cha rge right now, it’s a good idea to stay current on market developments, vendor offerings, and “success stories.” And if you haven’t done so already, open up a line of communication with the marketing folks. One way or another, you’ll both have a role to play.