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Industry Research : Contact Centres Hesitant About Role of Social Media Channels for Customer Service
According to research from ContactBabel, the contact centre industry analysts, many contact centres are still uncertain about using social media channels within their contact centre operations. ContactBabel identified that some 28 percent of respondents still consider social media to be a ‘wait and see’ topic, with many demonstrating uncertainty about the business value that social media could bring.
While larger contact centres are leading the way in their adoption of social media, mplsystems believes there’s a real opportunity for smaller contact centres to consider social media channels as a low-cost and more direct way of communicating with both existing and potential customers. With just 1 in 6 of respondents rating social media as more important as an outbound rather than an inbound channel, however, it’s clear that there’s a strong appreciation of the bi-directional role that social media channels need to fulfil.
"There’s clearly still considerable uncertainty about the role that social media can play in an organisation’s integrated customer service activities – that’s why we’re convinced that smaller and medium size contact centres need a lower cost of entry deployment model for adding social media as a core communications channel," commented Paul White, mplsystems’ CEO. "We’re increasingly seeing the Software as a Service (SaaS) model and cloud-based solutions as the approach that can help smaller organisations start to reap the same social media advantages that are now being deployed by larger customer service operations."
"Cloud-based social customer service is accessible to any organisation, regardless of their sizing, and purchasing on a per seat basis offers an opportunity for any business - large or small - to introduce and trial social as a customer service channel," he added. "Social customer service incorporates several functions: monitoring, filtering, interaction portals, multi-channel queuing and routing and social response, that can either be introduced as separate cloud modules integrated into your existing contact-handling infrastructure or as a total SaaS-enabled multichannel platform."
With an integrated cloud-based approach, responding to social requests needn’t mean taking agents out of your front-line call centre. In fact, the most effective social customer service deployments build on the expertise of existing agent teams, with social requests filtered according to criteria, prioritised and then routed alongside all other contact types, whether calls, email or mobile app requests. When integrated with a multi-channel cloud based ACD, requests can also be routed to those agent teams most skilled to deal each based on topic.
According to mplsystems’ Marketing Director, Susannah Richardson: "too many customers are making the mistake of responding to social queries with canned responses such as: ‘we will get back to your query in X days’. That’s no longer good enough. Consumers choose social because they assume they will get a fast resolution to their request not just a standard corporate response. If organisations are to avoid making the same kind of mistakes that they did when adding e-mail channels, then social response mechanisms clearly need to be fully integrated into existing customer queues, and that - increasingly - will also incorporate the latest generation of social apps for mobile and smartphones.
The "UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide (10th edition) is the major annual report studying the performance, operations, technology and HR aspects of 216 UK contact centre operations across all sectors and size bands.
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Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013