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Getting Social Customer Experience Right

22nd September, 2015

In just a small space of time, social media customer service adoption has majorly changed and research suggests that within the next few years, the number of social interactions will be equal to the number of phone-based interactions, with 70-80% being service-orientated. However organisations are still not providing the level of service customers are expecting which is causing a major gap between customer demand and business capability.

Social media is often the channel that is left behind as it is seen as less important than other channels such as voice, email and chat. Therefore many organisations are implementing social media strategies as if they were a side project and are not dedicating the same resources, time and planning that they would give to other customer-facing channels. The impact is social media channels are not integrated alongside email and web chat and therefore contact centre agents struggle to provide a high level of customer service.

One of the largest hurdles that businesses are struggling to overcome is that of interoperability between the various channels on offer and as a result agents frequently use several screens to flick between multiple applications. As a result when an agent deals with a customer request via social media they lack customer knowledge as it is not available to them on their desktop. Without a glue to bind it all together, businesses are missing huge opportunities and have gaps in their knowledge of the customer.

Paul White, CEO, IFS-mplsystems comments “Many organisations struggle to leverage social as part of a unified customer experience, often because interactions and customer profiles are not captured or linked up to existing customer records the same as other channels. Businesses therefore need to look for a way of integrating social alongside their other channels in a universal queue that presents all customer data on the agent desktop. The ability to tie social interactions back to customer records allows for an enhanced customer experience, minimises disconnected communications and ultimately increases customer retention.”

Implementing a system that enables the contact centre to successfully prioritise and route all channels into one universal queue allows a business to provide a consistent level of customer service across voice, email, chat and social. Customer interactions can be prioritised according to agent skills or client SLAs rather than solely on channel type. With text analytics being able to identify not only the subject of the enquiry but also the sentiment in which it was written, customer queries can be prioritised accordingly and handled more effectively by the agents.

Moreover, live customer interactions across different channels can be grouped on a single application so the agent is able to view all open enquiries in a single view and can close off the current and queuing items in a single transaction. for example if a customer has emailed your organ­isation and then telephones you about the same subject, the agent will automatically see the queuing email and prevent duplicate workload by closing both enquiries during the telephone call. Multi-chan­nel grouping offers multiple performance advantages such as increasing agent productivity, eliminating repeat responses via different channels and increasing customer satisfaction.

As customers are demanding a consistent customer experience across all channels and want the ability to use multiple channels for a single enquiry, those businesses that don’t address social customer experience as part of their Omni-channel customer service will face vast risks. Ultimately, businesses can no longer treat social as a side project, it will become a key customer service channel in the next couple of years and the contact centre needs to be ready to effectively deal with social interactions.

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