There is much talk about corporations getting onto the social bandwagon. Marketing often or usually leads the quest with customer services in tow. While the possibilities of engaging customers, potential customer in the social web and spreading your marketing story may seem like a good idea and may even work, can a “social service” actually be delivered on current platforms by the current contact centers?
Can social service actually be delivered on the current platforms?
Meeting, greeting customers on Twitter or Facebook may be simple enough but most of the clients I meet do not want to have their dirty laundry hung out for all to see. The drive to take conversations “off line” is so strong that the point of delivering a social service is challenged. Corporations have yet to understand that this “dirty laundry” is already there and that customers know it, it just has not been placed on such a platform for all to see.
So here comes the contact center to the rescue. Given enough resource, the general feeling is, those unpleasant postings can quickly and easily be taken care of before too many neighbors see it. But is the contact center ready for this and is the contact center the right place for it? Surely, contact centers have been handling a plethora of customer or potential customers queries for decades and are an ideal first place for social mentions, but they even they cannot be the only player in the game. The point of social service is to provide an high quality and efficient response to a customers need. By bundling the skills of a company and cooking it into the porridge fed into contact centers this has become an effective tool. But similar to voice calls, social is fast. Social is near-real-time. Unlike email, where we all have in-boxes full of unread items, social mentions move at the speed of light and are seen by many. The challenges contact centers have today with “first contact resolution” in the voice domain will replicate itself in the social space.
Social is near-real-time and social mentions move at the speed of light and are seen by many.
Postings on the corporate Facebook page will range from praise for the new product line to comments about the opening hours of the local branch. Complaints about the size of buttons to questions asking whether they are hiring will be in the mix. All of these require the similar level of attention. Not necessarily the same “speed” but the same quality of response. The old, ” we have forwarded your comment to department xxx” will just not cut it.
So, if contact centers are going to be the front line of providing the social service what do they need to have in place to make this work?
- What processes need to be defined for clear escalation paths?
- Should the contact center really be the front line?
- Will this just be a slow motion train wreck?
Post me your thoughts. Let’s stop this train before it’s too late.