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

Social Media Technology and the Contact Center

As contact center professionals, we’d prefer that folks use traditional forms of contact to request assistance, discuss issues, and air grievances. Unfortunately, some of them aren’t inclined to abide by our wishes.

A telling study by Maritz Research and evolve24 revealed that 49% of Twitter complainants expected companies to read their Tweets; only a third of them received responses. Of those for whom there was no follow-up, 86% would have liked (or loved) hearing from the company regarding their grievances. Companies serving the two-thirds majority missed the opportunity to resolve open issues, bolster relationships with customers, and clean up their soiled reputations. Had they leveraged trained agents in the contact center, they could have queued, processed, resolved, and reported on all of these contacts.

If your center isn’t on the social media playing field, it’s time to get in the game!

A base knowledge of the available technology to manage this contact stream is essential. This technology serves three primary functions:

  • Monitoring and analysis tools searches the Internet for instances of designated keywords and parses them into three buckets: (i) include in summary data and analysis only; (ii) send to marketing/public relations for further assessment and action; and, (iii) forward to the contact center for personalized customer service.
  • Once forwarded to the contact center, the routing and reporting engine provides the same professional contact management treatment that is accorded to all other media.
  • The Social CRM tool supports effective contact handling at the agent desktop and the associated tracking and interaction response.
social media technology

The boundaries that separate vendors and their solutions are somewhat fuzzy. Most have a “strong suit” and support limited functionality in the other areas and/or bolster their offerings by integrating with (or acquiring) other solutions. For example, many social media monitoring tools have a limited email route capability for attention-grabbing posts, but they lack the ability to apply the full-range of contact-processing capabilities that are indigenous to multimedia contact routing solutions. Likewise, the contact history feature in a routing solution cannot compare to the breadth and depth of information and functionality inherent in a fully-featured SCRM solution.

Given that framework for understanding solutions providers, here’s how leading solutions providers fit within the social media contact management arena.

social media vendors

Of course, your social media strategy will be the launching pad from which all operations and technology decision flow. But when you’re armed with a baseline understanding of the tools to help you manage this contact stream, you’ll be prepared to enter the strategic discussion with a sense for the tactical considerations that accompany your plan.

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