The best contact centre specialists can turn the challenges of social media into advantages. By monitoring and analysing every customer response, consumers get what they want most – great service
The boom in social media has revolutionised the way we communicate, yet the vast majority of businesses seem unable or unwilling to join the conversation.
“Companies that want to increase customer loyalty have to embrace social media,” says Alistair Niederer, UK CEO of Teleperformance, the global leader in customer experience management.
“But statistics show that only 16 per cent of companies are looking at what customers are saying about them on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Many don’t know how to get started or can’t decide who should take responsibility.”
The two key challenges of social media are also the things that make them so powerful if handled correctly, says Matt Sims, Teleperformance’s executive vice president of business development.
“Firstly, they’re immediate. Customers choose the channel that best suits their needs at the time, and they use social media when they want answers quickly. Using our social media manager tool, we’ve been able to respond to posts and tweets within two hours: that’s the kind of service consumers expect today.
“Social media is also ‘one-to-many’. A tweet can be picked up by millions of people within seconds and so can a company’s response. And Facebook can have enormous reach. A major retail client of ours started with 60,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook: after 18 months with social media manager it had more than 230,000,” says Sims.
Teleperformance is a pioneer in “buzz monitoring” – reading and analysing what is being said about its clients and their sector in various social media. It can also even classify mentions as complaints or compliments.
Are consumers grumbling that a product is too expensive or wishing it had different features? Do they regret that the company has no web chat facility or Facebook page? The company might never have known that it was losing out, or why.
Depending on the client’s preferences, Teleperformance teams of customer experience advisors may quickly respond to a post or tweet. If it was a complaint it can be nipped in the bud before it snowballs. If someone requested information they – and all their followers – know how efficiently the company can respond. If a competitor is having a bad day, the company may be able to gain some advantage.
“Business insights are a big part of our offering,” says Sims. “In collaboration with the client, we build a glossary of terms to look out for, and use it to monitor all kinds of media and customer communications. We almost always come up with new learnings or recommendations that can enhance the customer experience.”
These business insights cut across all communications channels to provide a comprehensive view of the customer base.
Social media should not stand alone, but be part of an integrated, multi-channel experience, Niederer believes.
“All companies should offer customers as wide a choice of channels as possible, with each giving the same immediacy of experience,” he says. “Customer experience advisors are highly trained to offer multiple channels of engagement, from web, email and social media to voice and letter.
“Adding social media to the customer channel strategy provides the opportunity to listen to customers better and engage them at a new level. This enables companies to retain customers, increase loyalty, and build and grow their customer base.”
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