Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:54

Contact Center Social Media Stalls

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While social media applications become pervasive in virtually all aspects of everyday life, the adoption of social media in the contact center has stalled.


Saddletree Research just published a research report that updates the 2010 survey of contact center professionals that was undertaken in conjunction with the National Association of Call Centers (NACC) at The University of Southern Mississippi.  The results reveal that even though interest in social media as a customer service tool continues to be high, there has been no significant increase in the use of social media in the contact center since 2010.


In the 2010 survey, 18 percent of respondents reported that they were actively using social media in the contact center.  Despite the fact that 18 percent of respondents in 2010 indicated that they were planning to add social media to their customer communications channel mix in the next year, the growth failed to materialize.  The 2012 survey revealed that 18 percent of respondents were actively using social media in the contact center.  Growth in the use of social media over two years was virtually non-existent.


I believe the problem lies in uncertainty concerning the management of social media once it is put into use.  It is clear that existing contact center customer service rules are not relevant in the world of social media.  For example, does a posting on a company’s Facebook page that says something to the effect of “I hate your company” deserve the time and consideration of a response, or does the business risk ignoring it and seeing the poster launch some sort of viral anti-company phenomenon that takes weeks or longer to fix?  Does the rant of a 15 year old who hates his/her cell phone warrant the time of a customer service representative and the effort of a response?


While attending the Verint Driving Innovation user group meeting in New Orleans last month I met someone who seems to have a unique understanding of how to handle social media channels in the contact center.  Kym Banks, Social Media manager at Telvista, has a good grip on the process of filtering the good from the bad and the ugly when it comes to social media postings.  Watch for my column in the September issue of Contact Center Pipeline magazine and read about the lessons Kym and her team have learned as they travel the social media learning curve.

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