10 Key Social Media Challenges for the Contact Centre

Over the past 5 years we have seen a revolution in social media, with our customers now demanding customer service across social channels like Twitter and Facebook. More than that, their expectations are high.

This being the case, we have seen the rise of the social customer service team sitting within the contact centre. But, what are the key challenges for the contact centre and, more importantly, what are the solutions?

  1. Monitoring Multiple Channels

Customers can now reach out to you across multiple social channels. The primary social customer service channels are still Twitter and Facebook, but an unattended customer post across Google Plus, YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest can still cause brand damage.

All of these conversations are in the public domain. So, make sure you get a social media monitoring platform that can monitor for brand mentions across all these channels, including blogs, forums and the wider Twitter firehose.

  1. Reducing Noise into Relevancy

With all of these social channels, perhaps the real challenge is how to manage the sheer volume of brand mentions. How do we filter out social ‘noise’ and focus on relevancy? How do we identify real customer service issues and prioritise a response?

The solution here is to define a set of keywords and phrases that help classify certain mentions. By using a keyword table, you can automatically identify issues and define a priority setting. Customer service agents can then focus on those higher priority posts.

  1. Identifying Top Influencers and Key Customers

We need to understand who the top influencers are within our industry and track whenever they post something about our brand. More importantly, we need to understand who our key customers are and prioritise a response to a specific subset of social profiles.

This can be achieved by creating separate tables of social profiles for influencers and key customers. Workflow can then be created to recognise a mention from one of these profiles, automatically tag it and prioritise that mention within our social customer service queue.

  1. Distribute Mentions Effectively

The idea of just lumping a bunch of social mentions into a big pot for our agents to assign to themselves and manage is long gone. Today, we need to recognise certain types of post and distribute effectively and dynamically across a virtual team of agents.

Multiple teams should be created, with multiple agents assigned to each team. Mentions from certain channels or matching specific tables can then be directed at the most appropriate team. Within that team, the mention should then be assigned to the agent with the best chance of responding quickly.

  1. How do we Control Agent Engagement?

Social media is in the public domain and we need to keep a tight control on how our agents engage. We may trust some agents more than others. We may even want to restrict certain agents to a subset of carefully vetted responses. How do we reduce the risk of agents posting in the public domain?

Permissions should be set up for each individual agent, defining what they can and can’t post. A supervisor approval loop can be set up for certain agents, vetting anything from 10-100% of replies and posts. Maintain an audit trail for every agent interaction to provide full accountability.

  1. Transition from Public to Private Channels

It is very common to want to move a customer interaction from public to private channels. Often a direct or private message is not enough. We may need to move the conversation from social channels to either chat or email. How do we maintain a threaded conversation, across channel?

There are now platforms available that enable a seamless transition across multiple digital channels. If you need to move a customer from Twitter to live chat or from Facebook to email, choose a digital customer service tool. This will ensure that you manage the full threaded conversation from within the same team and the same platform.

  1. How do we Handle Social Media Spikes?

Social media channels are prone to unexpected spikes. It could be an individual post that goes viral and gets retweeted or shared multiple times. Or it could be a marketing campaign that attracts a high level of customer interaction. How do we identify these spikes quickly and manage our response?

Real time visibility is the key here to identify the spike through ‘buzz’ volume charts, word clouds and top mention widgets. But, once identified, you can utilise ‘bulk actions’. This allow you to identify a subset of matching mentions and then carry out a mass tag or action, applied to all the filtered data in one go.

  1. How do we Manage Social OOH?

Social media is ‘always on’ and we can’t control when our customers reach out to us across social channels. How do we identify when an important mention has come in out of hours (OOH)? And how can we possibly look to interact when our core team is not available?

This issue is fuelling the emergence of a core team / overflow model. Whereby, the core team is positioned to manage social activity within working hours. But, a trusted partner may be used to manage OOH mentions. The key here is to ensure that you have the right workflow set up to manage this requirement effectively.

  1. Tracking the Customer Journey

Often, social media is used as a ‘channel of last resort’, where failures across more traditional channels have resulted in a customer venting their frustration across Twitter or Facebook. How do we understand when this is the case and ultimately ease the frustration of our customers?

Maintain a social interaction history by customer, so you can understand recent history. Use ‘recent customer’ routing to direct the customer to the agent that they last engaged with. Hook into CRM systems, adding a digital profile for each customer, to access their cross-channel interactions.

  1. Measure Relevant KPIs

What are the relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that we need to measure social customer service in the contact centre? How do we track our response time and how do we measure and compare agent performance? Can we track this in real time via a contact centre wallboard (like other channels)?

Yes. Many platforms offer a real-time supervisor dashboard. Ideally, this will provide a breakdown across overall response time, team performance and agent performance. Just bear in mind that you can only measure agent performance based on the time taken to respond once the mention has actually been assigned to that agent!

Social media customer service is constantly evolving. Make sure you work with a partner and platform that is keeping pace with the advances and innovations as they occur. To get more advice and best practice tips, please check out our blog at: http://mws-digidesk.com/latest-news

This blog was first posted here: http://www.callcentre.co.uk/10-key-social-media-challenges-for-the-contact-centre/