Recently, I found some *stunning* statistics indicating that the number of worldwide users of Social Media (of any type) is expected to reach some 2.95 billion by the year 2020. This equates to approximately one-third of the Earth’s entire population. The region with the highest penetration rate of social networks is North America; where, as of 2016, 78 percent of the United States population has at least one social networking profile. Given the proliferation of Social Media throughout the world, it's no wonder that contact centers are realizing the huge opportunity to develop a social customer service strategy.
Given those numbers, it's not surprising that 67% of consumers now use Twitter and Facebook for customer service, and that 33% of consumers prefer to contact brands using Social Media.
inContact’s own research supports this picture and provides additional insight. In a study conducted by Harris Poll (on behalf of inContact) in early 2015, 39% of adults 18 or older living within the United States indicated that, “Social media is an important method of communication for a company or ecommerce website to have available for online purchasing or ordering.” In addition, in the same study, one in five Americans (21%) agreed that they “increasingly find themselves using a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter for customer service”. Furthermore, customers ages 18-54 (29%) are more likely to agree with this statement than those ages 55+ (8%).
So, why is social customer service important for your contact center, and how can inContact help?
Social media is growing at an exponential rate.
While growth may not be quite as explosive in the customer service industry, social media is a channel that already is important today, and will become even more important as Millennials and younger “Gen Zs” start making up a larger part of your customer base. In fact, social media is designated as the single most popular interaction channel in the age group under 25 in the 2016 Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report.
Your customers expect to have a choice.
A social media interaction may or may not be the channel of final resolution for a customer issue. But, contact centers are supporting their customers in more channels than ever before – and those channels are used at some point along the customer journey. Based on Dimension Data, most contact centers will support an average of nine channels by 2017. A little over half (52.4%) of all contact centers support social media today, and another 24% plan to offer it within the year. If analysts are correct and we are in the age of the customer, excluding social media from your contact center channel strategy may, in the mid-to long-term, open you up to losing customers to competitors who actively support the channels your customers want to interact in.
Social media does not have to be complex.
With inContact Social Media, interactions from both public and private channels for the most widely used social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – use the Work Item channels for an absolutely seamless integration – both from a routing, as well as from an agent handling perspective. Using the My Agent eXperience - MAX interface, any authorized user can post to social media from the same interface they use to handle all other supported channels. The bonus? You get consolidated inContact Work Item Reporting for historical insight, and your dashboards include social media contacts as well – real-time insight into what’s going on with social media, just like for any other channel in your center.
We have figured out Social Customer Service, and we can help you, too!
inContact partner, HelpSocial, provides one simple console to manage accounts, groups, and live searches based on keywords and phrases, #hashtags, @users, and more. Our inContact experts can show you how to use broad search tools to capture all the activity you need to be aware of, while ensuring that search results are narrowed down sufficiently – and “white noise” is filtered out – so your agents are not unnecessarily distracted and can focus on engagements that matter. With inContact Social Media, your agents can focus on responding to customer service queries and interact with customers on both private and public social channels, while you — superstar customer experience leader – can actually monitor how your business (or the competition) is trending on social!
Interested in finding out more? Contact us! Our experts are here to help.