• June 6, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Social Is the Next Great Call Center Tech

LAS VEGAS (Call Center Week) - For the modern contact center, location is becoming less and less important, Yves Dupuis, vice president of  sales and global accounts at Jabra and chairperson of the International Quality and Performance Center (IQPC) told attendees as part of the opening session at this year's Call Center Week.

"The office today is wherever you have a laptop, Internet connection, and headset," he said.

"The Internet has changed everything," Dupuis said, noting that it has given rise to unified communications, cloud-based data and applications, mobility, home-based agents, and social media.

But despite the rise of social media as a customer service channel, it is the least used technology in the contact center, according to Dave Kellogg, senior vice president at Salesforce.com and general manager of its Service Cloud product.

Kellogg said that social media's use in the contact center is at 18.6 percent right now, but it is slated to grow  22.9 percent in the next 12 months, the greatest percentage of any other technology.

To capitalize on that growth, Michael Biondo, vice president of customer operations at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, urged companies looking to incorporate social media into their customer service operations to include a call to action, such as filling in a survey or spreading the word about an offer. "Just to post something without a call to action negates your engagement," he said. "If you do a basic fill-in-the-blank question, it yields nine times the level of engagement."

And when it comes to posts on Facebook or Twitter, for example, brevity is key, Biondo maintained. "Less is best. Eighty characters or less in a post yields a 66 percent higher engagement," he said. And if you do more than about four posts a day, your level of engagement goes down."

Clear Channel operates 800 radio stations across the United States and has more than 3.6 million fans on Facebook.

But even for an organization that large and that active on social media, only an average of 16 percent of fans actually see most posts, according to Facebook statistics.

To counter that, Biondo recommended using geo-targeted posts to capture local audiences for whom such messages would be relevant.

Knowing which messages will qualify takes the ability to listen to the enormous volume of data coming in over social media; to filter it by content, influence, and customer data; to engage with customers in the appropriate manner; to leverage related CRM data; to resolve the customers' issues; and feedback the voice of the customer to the rest of the business, Kellogg pointed out.

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