Over the past several years, businesses have increasingly focused on improving customer support as a key element in their topline strategy. Investments in new technology reflect analysts’ reports that more than 80 percent of North American companies use customer experience as an area of differentiation.
And rightfully so.
Today’s customers are technically savvy and have far more control of their service experience than ever before. Increased competition means they are apt to abandon a business over poor service much more quickly. The 21st Century consumers demand first-contact resolution, regardless of whether they call, e-mail, text or chat with their service provider.
In the context of a contact center where agents handle customer inquiries and complaints on-the-fly, social media engagement has become more common. People of all ages and demographics are now quite familiar with this communication platform.
While customer support centers are accustomed to heavy flows of inbound support calls from customers, they also rely on social media interactions and sites to deliver support before customers even make a call. Meanwhile, social media sites not only function as a way to reach the millions of customers who actively engage there by posting comments and searching for information — but also as a way to reduce costs in contact centers.
Social media is becoming essential in the contact center.
With social media engagement, contact center agents can realize many opportunities to garner actionable information from social media comments. For example, if a major travel agency sees that your bag has been lost on a flight because of your post on a social media site, the agency can use this post as a springboard to immediately address the problem. If a retail customer encounters an issue with customer care and vents about it via social media, the contact center can deliver additional services, such as a coupon for a future purchase, to relieve the issue and increase the chances of the customer returning.
Bottom line: If a contact center lacks social media strategies, it will never know there was an issue in the first place.
But this is about far more than just service and support. In order to “listen in” on these online conversations, contact centers can implement social media monitoring practices to capture these posts and monitor them for customer service issues, generating new sales leads in the process.
Of course, if a company is more than efficient at supporting its customers, social media will only serve as an additional layer in making customer care the best it can be.
Ernie Wallerstein Jr. is President of Zeacom (www.Zeacom.com), a global provider of contact center, unified communications and process automation software, solutions and services. More than 4,000 enterprises across the globe count on Zeacom to optimize their workforce and drive operational efficiencies, cut costs and increase customer satisfaction.