Certainly an interaction channel that customer service executives should keep in mind is social media. Taking into consideration that with coming generations social media usage is likely to grow further. Ensuring that your contact center does not “miss out” on social channels is vital, just look at these stats:
- The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 196 billion, up 13 percent from 2017
- In July 2018, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users (globally)
- 74% of Facebook users say they visit the site daily, with around half (51%) saying they do several times a day
If you ignore it, you also potentially disregard a considerable – and growing – share of customer communication. Here are some thoughts to consider as you embark on the Social journey in your contact center:
Make sure that your solution allows you to easily add social platforms, and, ideally, enables your agents to use a single interface for handling the different types of interactions.
The social channel as a whole is much more diverse than any other channel. An email is an email, and a chat is a chat. Not so for social media platforms: While Facebook is still the most popular and widespread social platform globally, others are quickly gaining, and with younger users. Just an example: in a spring 2018 survey, it was Snapchat that was called out as the most important social network for 45% of US teens.
Be prepared to be quick. Most customers expect a reply to a complaint launched on a social platform within the hour. You need to prepare for this, but on the other hand, this also means that the social channel – at least while it is not an interchange at the personal (direct message) level, does leave leeway for agents to handle more than one interaction concurrently. Different from a voice call, where agent focus is on the caller at all times, agents will be able to handle more than one interaction concurrently. This helps with response times, and increases satisfaction! Ensure that your contact center solution allows for this.
Be prepared to scale. As seen with the growth (and occasional shrinkage) in some social platforms: make sure your solution enables you to start small, but grow when you need it. Initially, you may not need even dedicated agents for handling social interactions. But make sure your solution allows for growth on a “pay as you grow” basis.
Social interactions are a customer service channel. But in many customer environments, handling social interactions is part of the marketing organization. It can make perfect sense to keep it that way. If so, consider enabling marketing with the right tools to help you ensure a complete, consistent customer journey. You need the ability to analyze, track and report on social interactions that started as part of a marketing campaign. And, hearing what your customers say “socially” is an important part of the customer journey. Consolidated reporting and analytics will help you better understand your customers’ needs, and – in the end – help you and your agents to provide a better customer experience.