Anyone who’s ever dealt with a company knows that social media is rising in prominence as a point of contact. With a large majority of people carrying around smartphones, it’s easy for them to reach out and make their feelings known, whether they’re good or bad.
But the problem comes with who is receiving that message on the other end. Traditionally, it’s been the marketing department, and according to a new blog post, that’s becoming an issue.
Steve O'Donoghue is senior director of product marketing at Genesys (News - Alert), a global multi-channel customer experience and contact center solution leader. He notes that it might be time for companies to “spread the wealth,” and let others within the company have the opportunity to address concerns raised by customers.
“As social media conversations between companies and their customers will no doubt increase further, a lack of clarity on who owns social media within organizations continues to prevent companies from making the most of this critical interaction channel, O’Donoghue says.
He points out that previously, marketing-related social conversations were an easy way for a brand to publicly endorse advocates, foster relationships, build customer loyalty and more. “Typically, this simple form of engagement only requires lightweight tools, including features like moderation of activity around a brand’s social pages, and a reply option. For many, this lightweight solution enabled the business to get by for a while,” he said.
But as the stakes increased and customers got more savvy about social media, some companies lagged behind in their responses. They soon found out how detrimental this was. As customers got more vocal and didn’t hear back in what they perceived to be a proper amount of time, they escalated their noise and weren’t shy about sharing their feelings; usually negative feelings. Such traffic can have a rapid, counter-productive impact on a brand.
“In order to respond at scale and drive the number of missed customer posts lower, organizations need to move toward treating the social customer service channel like any other channel,” O’Donoghue believes. “Operations need to be optimized by routing issues to any available agent with the appropriate skill – regardless of channel. When an agent addresses a customer issue via social, the agent should have a full view of the customer history across each of the different channels and touch-points that the customer has had with the company. It should not be limited to the most recent tweets and Facebook (News - Alert) posts.”
O’Donoghue makes a strong case for spreading the word – and usefulness – of social media throughout an entire company. “It’s time for social customer service to advance beyond siloed point solutions and blend in with a unified and integrated contact center platform.” Well said.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi