Call Center On Demand Featured Articles

How Do You Manage the Call Center on Demand in a Social World?

June 10, 2014

By Susan J. Campbell,
TMCnet Contributing Editor

How important is the social consumer base? According to ICMI, more than 68 percent of businesses report that social is a necessary service channel. The problem with this figure is that only 60 percent of companies do not formally support a social customer care initiative. Is this gap the result of the challenges that exist with management the massive amount of social chatter, or simply a lack of knowledge as to how best to handle this channel?

In the call center on demand world, accommodations are made for companies who want to monitor social activity. A recent Five9 (News - Alert) blog explored this concept with an interview with Ashley Verrill of Software Advice and Jonathan Russell of Five9. The two offered guidance on common social customer care challenges, pointing to real-world situations that have happened within their own environments.

One key point highlighted in this interview is the reality that social is an important channel. In fact, according to Jonathan, there are large companies with agents dedicated solely to social media. Others may have text-only agents who are responding to chat, email, social, SMS and other text-based channels. If a company doesn’t have enough social mentions to dedicate staff, they cross-train their agents so they can respond accordingly on the correct channels.

Paying attention across all channels is not always easy, of course. Companies are often challenged with knowing what to listen for and having the ability to pull out the messages to be sure they send a response. When they are able to do so correctly, it’s also important to make that known. When an issue is identified through a social channel and addressed with success that should be shared with the audience so they understand the service available to them.

On the flip side, there are also negative interactions that may or may not be easily resolved. It’s important to put guidelines in place as to how to handle such an individual. The professional approach is always appropriate initially; but have a set strategy for how to exit the situation if it cannot be resolved amicably.

To that end, the social interactions should be guided by a strategy as a whole. In other words, will you determine a specific Twitter (News - Alert) handle for customer service? Will you respond within a set amount of time? Will you direct the individual to a traditional channel? All of these questions need to be answered so that you have a set process in place to deliver a consistent experience each and every time.

Hopefully, in doing so, the call center on demand platform will deliver the intended benefits as customers will be happy whether they called you on the phone or sent a message via Twitter. Check out the Five9 blog referenced above for more insight into the conversation regarding social interactions. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi