Interactive Intelligence, a provider of unified IP business communications software for contact centers and enterprises, is working on integrations with social media applications that would help companies more quickly and effectively respond to what their customers are saying through these intensely popular channels.
Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) is working with an unidentified social media analytics firm to provide an application that would enable customers to capture any mention of them or their products/services on the social Web, including sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (News - Alert), blogs and forums. These mentions would then be e-mailed back to the most appropriate representative or department using the Interactive Intelligence software's multichannel queuing and routing capability based on business rules (such as key words or phrases).
"We're seeing serious uptick in customer interest in these integrated social media solutions," explains Rachel Wentink (News - Alert), Senior Director of Product Management for Interactive Intelligence. "We're already exploring additional applications. These include applying analytics to social media responses, as well as embedding information gleaned from social media interactions into screen-pops."
Interactive Intelligence is also working with its reseller channel to develop integrated social media applications.
"The benefits of social media applications are many, ranging from improved customer service and higher sales, to increased customer loyalty and improvements to products and services," Wentink points out. "Without integration to the company's core communications routing and reporting systems, however, they leave the door open for wrong responses, which can turn minor annoyances into major firestorms."
Social media-based customer interactions was one of the key emerging contact center trends identified by Frost and Sullivan's global program director Ashwin Iyer in a keynote he delivered at the recent 2010 Interactive Intelligence User Forum held in at the company's global headquarters city of Indianapolis, Ind. The event drew approximately 350 customers and more than 500 total attendees.
Iyer's keynote, "Your Passport To The Future Of Customer Care," drew on a Frost and Sullivan North American survey conducted in April 2010 that said 30 percent of respondents indicated they support social media customer activity and interactions on external social media sites (e.g. Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter). At the same time 29 percent indicated they monitor and extract intelligence from this activity. Of social media benefits, the top three cited were to "provide better customer service," (75 percent), "drive sales," (58 percent) and "drive customer loyalty" (54 percent).