Social media’s prevalence has changed the way most businesses operate, adding the need for outward facing customer service on an entirely new platform. Customer relationship management for example has gone from being a database for basic consumer information to a dynamic real-time data harvesting system that can help companies retain and grow a customer base.
CRM applications can monitor the Twitter and Facebook (News - Alert) streams of any contact or company in their database. While this means companies have a wealth of data at their finger tips, it also means that they need to be vigilant of any developing customer service scenarios and ready to defuse them at a moment’s notice.
Being able to quickly and effectively respond to concerns in the social media space requires a more flexible communication solution than traditional management systems. Because your customer base is connected 24 hours a day, you need a workforce that is just as ready to field alerts from phone, email, IM and social media too. One way to combat the tide of constant notifications is incorporating a unified communication solution to your contact center strategy.
Company’s such as Zeacom (News - Alert), which has always been on the leading edge of advanced technology integration, recognizes that in today’s market, everyone in an organization has customer service responsibility. Ernie Wallerstein (News - Alert), Zeacom President, notes that, “Often, the contact center just the starting point for providing the proper experience to a customer or prospect, and the integration of social media provides a seamless stream of information sharing from CRM applications to unified contact center software – thereby enabling an optimal customer experience.”
By giving your agents a consistent way to interface with email, instant message and phone calls, you can not only streamline your typical contact center duties, but also handle the increased connectivity social media strategies demand. Communication histories can then be linked via social CRM platforms making sure that all of the customer’s data is one easy to navigate space.
In an article on social CRM, TMC’s (News - Alert) Rajani Baburajan pointed out “spending on social software to support sales, marketing and customer service processes will exceed $1 billion worldwide, Gartner (News - Alert) said. Social CRM will include approximately 8 percent of all CRM spending in 2012, up from approximate 4 percent in 2010.”
With the increasing prevalence of social CRM solutions like salsforce.com, every channel will need to be optimized to handle customer requests. Unified communication can facilitate the seamless anything less can and will result in lowered customer satisfaction and increased churn.
Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco