With nearly 74 percent of internet users having active social media accounts, social is an increasingly important channel that contact centers need to consider.
Year over year, these trends continue to growing at an increasing rate compared to the total population. The biggest growth trends were in social and mobile social, with increases of 21 percent and 30 percent respectively.
More and more, customers are contacting brands through social media. According to our Converting Customer Experience Into Revenue report, 74 percent of people expect a response within an hour, while 48 percent expect a response within 30 minutes. The figure rises to 61 percent when looking specifically at 16-24 year olds.
Social media has been rocketing up the agenda for many firms. A study of 3,400 executives by Deloitte and MIT Sloan, found social media was second only to analytics in terms of importance to their organization this year.
Yet many contact centers still aren’t focusing on social as a major channel.
What Are Your Customers Using?
To successfully target social media, you need to prioritize the most popular sites used by your customers. While these will vary depending on your business and emerging trends, the most popular channels globally are shown below.
A mistake some contact centers make when first including social media is trying to do too much, too soon. Prioritize which channels to focus on first, starting small and building up as you mature – and only in line with what suits your brand.
Call Center Social Media Training Options
To make your contact center agents effective when implementing social media as a new channel, appropriate training must be provided. A key decision is whether to:
- Create a dedicated social media team OR
- Train current voice agents to add social, encouraging a more blended approach.
The former option of having a dedicated social media team has the benefits of each agent possibly being more effective due to focusing on a single channel. But this may reduce productivity as there is a risk of agents doing nothing during off-peak times. They also may be more likely to get bored as many agents prefer a variety of tasks.
The latter option however, has the benefit of increasing flexibility and productivity, but how easy is it to find agents skilled in both speaking and writing? If you already have multi-media agents dealing with voice, emails and web chat, these agents are ideal for the transition to social media as the skill set will be very similar.
Incorporating Social Media via Cloud
Cloud-based contact center solutions allow agents to respond to all types of requests including voice, email, social media, chat, SMS and web “call me” in the same application leading to faster response times, exceptional customer care and reduced costs. Scalability is a key factor to consider.
Cloud-based solutions allow organizations to minimize risk, by allowing them to start small with the ability to conduct a real-world test without the need to update and invest capital into existing telephony technology.
Social Media Metrics in the Contact Center
A key challenge faced by most contact centers when first implementing social media is how to measure agents’ performance. Social media metrics vary from those of the traditional contact center and it is important for contact center managers to differentiate.
As customers’ usage of social media as a channel for business communication increases, the modern contact center needs to be able to cater to their needs in order to provide the best experience. With the right training and contact center solution, agents can effectively deal with customer inquiries seamlessly alongside other channels and differentiate the company or brand from those who are not utilizing social media.
Learn more about customer experience and trends impacting the contact center: