4 Tips to Launch a Social Media Customer Service Program in Your Contact Center

The contact center industry has officially entered the next evolution of customer engagement and many are on a mission to figure out how best to implement these new and emerging technologies to service our digital customers. If your contact center is looking to launch or advance a social CRM program, here are 4 tips to remember.

Create a Monitoring & Engaging Process
The monitoring process must include how your team will prioritize the hundreds or even thousands of posts. For example, all company-sponsored Facebook or Twitter pages need to receive a higher priority than say a random blog. The reason is that the customer is expecting the company to respond, and respond fast. Typically the individuals posting in complaint forums are not expecting a response from the company, so if your team can respond to these consumers within 24 hours that would be a WOW experience.

When trying to determine which conversations to engage and which ones to avoid, create an engagement workflow chart that offers industry best practices for knowing how best to address each conversation in the proper manner. The agents can then use the chart when deciding whether to jump in and respond to the post after closely evaluating the anticipated risk/reward. Other items to analyze include: age of post, influence of author, unhappy or furious customer, misstated facts, or brand ambassador.

Launch a Quality Assurance Process
The quality assurance team should be scoring each engagement. The following items need to be analyzed when reviewing each post and agent response:

Greeting – Was the agent transparent and introduced themselves as the official customer service team for the brand? Was the conversation appropriate to jump into and address based on the forum and tone of the customer?

Body – Was an apology offered? Was the agent sincere and display empathy that was recognized by the customer? Was the situation rectified? Did the agent clarify any facts in the post; if so were the facts accurate? Did the agent take the conversation offline to gather personal information or offer a comp? Did the agent update the CRM system correctly?

Close – Did the agent properly address the customers concern or issue before closing the conversation?

Tracking, Reporting & Measuring Success
Measuring efficiency is something the contact center industry knows how to do and do well. However, many contact centers are still struggling with how best to measure the success of its social media customer service program in an effort to prove to its executive team that there is real ROI. Simply stating the number of posts responded to is not going to cut it in our “do more with less” economy. Here are some metrics that should be measured and analyzed on a monthly or weekly basis:

Response time – by channel (Facebook, Twitter, Blog)

Response rate – by team and advocate

Time to resolution – social media vs. contact center

Referral rate – NPS surveys

Total Impressions – for each response

Customer retention rate – How many saved relationships?

Purchase rate – How many customers made a purchase as a result of SMCS?

Making the Decision to Outsource
If your contact center already has the resources needed internally, along with a customer service professional that has enough social media knowledge to become a champion of the project then you may want to consider doing this in house. When deciding who to outsource the social media customer service program, be very cautious.

There are a lot of entities that claim they “do social media’, when in reality all they may do is set up Facebook and Twitter pages and push out one-way messages to consumers. Make sure you ask the prospective vendor how many years they have been doing customer service; what qualifications they use when recruiting reps; what their monitoring, engaging, and QA process look likes; what metrics they measure success by; and how they provide the very best customer experience?

Lauren Ziskie is chief experience officer at Dialogue Marketing.