• April 22, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

West Offers a New Social Media Suite

Through an arrangement with Radian6, West Interactive is now providing the West Social Engagement Solution, a suite of integrated social media monitoring and analysis tools.

Under terms of the partnership, Radian6, which was recently acquired by Salesforce.com, will provide the social media monitoring solution, while West will interweave its own querying, analytics, and follow-up tools around it. An additional Engagement Console allows contact center representatives to engage with customers in real time, and track history and workflow within the social channel.

"The social Web is changing the way organizations interact with their customers. Enterprises are seeing the importance of evolving their customer service and support strategies to ensure that the voice of the social customer is heard across the organization," said Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6, in a statement.

"As customer expectations and communication behaviors change, expanding into emerging non-traditional channels, such as social media, is a natural evolution for customer contact centers," added Pam Mortenson, president of West Interactive, in a statement. "Partnering with Radian6 helps us extend our solutions and the overall customer experience into social media, ultimately helping our clients bring consistency and new features to their customers."

Bruce Pollock, vice president of strategic growth and planning at West Interactive, agrees. "We view social media as just one more component of an overall CRM solution, including speech, the Web, mobile, and other channels," he says.

Pollock notes that Radian6 was the natural choice for a software partner in this endeavor. "Radian6 is the leading software provider in the social media monitoring arena," he says. "We are bundling their software together with our query-building, analytics, and customer engagement services to enhance the value of the software and help our clients to improve service to their customers."

The solution suite, which is geared toward medium to large enterprises, will allow companies to understand where and how they are being talked about in the hundreds of millions of data sources from which Radian6 pulls data and then to decide what actions need to be taken, Pollock says.

"Consumers are talking about brands today in social media, whether the companies like it or not," Pollock says. Companies "need to monitor what’s being said, analyze what’s being said, and reach out to customers with the appropriate response," he adds. "Enterprises need to realize that there's a dialogue going on about them in social media, and they need to be a part of it."

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